Big data solutions
Plan Ceibal is a project by the Uruguayan government to improve the quality and equality of technology education in the country’s schools. Agency services include English classes for schools in rural areas via remote learning and laptops for all children in public schools. The latter is an initiative that has become known famously as “one laptop per child.”
Plan Ceibal has a reward system for students, whereby badges are awarded based on assignments completed.
Teachers regularly enter their students’ assignment scores into the system database. A software solution is needed to process the scores in the database and correctly award badges.
Plan Ceibal adds around 200,000-300,000 entries daily to its database. While this quantity is not large enough to be labeled “big data,” it’s sufficiently large enough to need a powerful data processing solution to make the system run efficiently.
Data Management with Pentaho
Many business intelligence and data management tools are available that can be integrated with existing databases and applications. For this project we selected Pentaho, for its ease of use, flexibility and processing speed.
Efficient data processing
One of the main benefits of Pentaho is its ability to process entries in parallel. The traditional way is to process each entry in a linear manner. Therefore each entry is processed and finished before the program starts on the next. For the amount of entries in the Plan Ceibal program, this can take up to 24 hours to complete per day. With Pentaho, the same amount of entries can be processed in around 20 minutes.
In Pentaho it’s easy to set up the workflow for how data is processed. Additionally, the client is able to make adjustments to the process, should the conditions for granting badges change.
How the integration works is the following:
- Pentaho retrieves the data from the Plan Ceibal database.
- The information is then validated and simplified into the appropriate format for processing.
- The entries are calculated.
- Each are assigned a value; in this case, they are assigned a badge.
- Pentaho connects with a custom PHP layer that sends to results to the frontend of the Plan Ceibal application. Teachers can then see what badges their students have earned.
With the solution Capicua provided, Plan Ceibal can easily and efficiently administer its student rewards program.