You’ve decided to invest in athletic director software, but you know you can’t just buy any old solution and expect incredible results. As with anything else, you need to do your due diligence and research your options in order to pinpoint a vendor that meets your criteria and needs most effectively.
As you begin your search for the best athletic director software, here are seven questions you should ask to narrow down your options.
1. Will Our Student Data Remain Secure?
Any system that deals with sensitive student and teacher information needs to be highly secure so that private data is protected. Otherwise, districts may be exposed to legal issues by unintentionally violating laws like the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).
Look for athletic director software that takes security and privacy seriously. The right solution won’t make sensitive student data public, sell it to, or share it with third parties. It will be engineered with industry-standard and proprietary security protocols, policies, and procedures.
Keep in mind that, no matter how secure a digital solution is, hacks can still occur. Look for a vendor that can provide you with action plans in the event of a worst-case scenario.
2. Does the Solution Have More Features Than Just Athletics?
Q&A: Ask Great Questions When Choosing Technology (3:01)
3. Does the Solution Offer Real-Time Data?
The right athletic director software will connect students, parents, coaches, and administrators in real time—ensuring things like medical information are in the right hands at the right time, every time.
For example, whenever changes are made to a student record—let’s say a student’s allergy information is updated—changes are automatically sent out to the parties who may handle emergency situations, ensuring that these individuals always have access to up-to-date information.
4. Is the System Intuitive and Easy to Use?
Whenever new technology is rolled out across a district, there’s a learning curve. While relatively simple systems might take a few days or weeks to figure out, more complex solutions can take months or even as long as a year.
If you’re like most athletic directors, you want your team to get up to speed on the new system quickly. At the same time, you want students and parents to be able to figure it out right away, too.
Because of this, you need to look for a system that is intuitive and easy to use. Leading systems come with a variety of features that are easy for most people to figure out on their own (for example: one-click equipment collection and assignment functionality, and status icons to indicate whether a student has submitted all of their relevant forms). The best systems also include embedded support videos for on-screen support.
5. What Support Services Does the Vendor Offer?
When evaluating a new software for your athletic department, be sure to ask if training and support are included. After all, you and your athletic department staff need to prioritize helping student athletes succeed—not waste time trying to figure out a new technology.
Look for a vendor that offers top-shelf support services 24/7/365 for free. The right vendor understands how important it is to make sure that their customers are able to use their platform productively all year long—and they prioritize support accordingly.
Look for a vendor that is constantly listening to customer needs, requests, and questions—and often responding to them within minutes. FinalForms, for example, has an average response rate of less than 2.5 hours. Support is one of the most popular things our customers mention when they talk about us.
6. Are There Any Add-On Costs?
The best solution for your district will be cost-effective and will come with all the functionality you need to improve form collection right out of the box.
At the same time, it will also help you save a ton of money. For example, a district might lose $20,000 worth of equipment over the course of a year because they can’t track who has what. With a strong athletic director software solution in place, that won’t happen.
FinalForms understands that school funding can be limited. We pride ourselves on our reasonable prices: $5 or less /head/year, with discounts when serving more than 1,000 students within a district.
7. Does the Software Connect with Other Systems?
Leading solutions will be able to integrate with other popular platforms that your entire district relies on every day, such as a student information system.
As a result, staff can increase productivity because they won’t have to enter and re-enter the same information over and over again—and they won’t have to hop from platform to platform to find the information they need either.
FinalForms: Athletic Director Software Designed for High-Performing Districts
FinalForms is a powerful platform that helps districts like yours increase productivity, safety, and compliance while reducing risk and liability. Designed by world-class developers and former educators and coaches who know what athletic directors struggle with every day, FinalForms represents the next stage in the evolution of online forms. The platform is battle-tested and can be ready to go in less than 10 days! In fact, our CEO, Clay Burnett, uses FinalForms every day as a coach.
Schedule a demo today to find out how your district can use FinalForms to optimize your athletic department, increase form compliance, and enhance the educational experience.