Watermark vs. Starfish

September 13, 2023 Watermark Insights

In the dynamic landscape of higher education, student data software plays a pivotal role in supporting student success, program quality, and the growth of your institution. Starfish and Watermark offer distinct approaches to meet the diverse needs of colleges and universities. Understanding the differences between the platforms can help you make an informed decision and navigate the complexities of modern education.

As a key decision-maker, you are entrusted with steering your institution toward success. An informed choice regarding student data platforms can empower your faculty, advisors, and staff to elevate the learning experience and ensure academic programs are aligned with the highest standards of quality.

Watermark Overview

With over 20 years of experience and knowledge in student data and technology, Watermark has developed innovative technologies that can empower you to support assessment practices and use more meaningful data to improve learning. 

Our suite of tools empowers you to collect, analyze, and leverage student data to enhance your program quality, adhere to accreditation standards, and drive institutional outcomes. We can serve your institution by providing planning and outcomes assessment, student success and retention, faculty review, institutional surveys, catalog and curriculum management, activity reporting, and more. 

As a leader in the realm of student data software, Watermark offers a range of benefits tailored to your needs:

  • Accreditation support: We are a trusted partner in the pursuit of accreditation excellence. Our platform can help you streamline data collection and reporting, allow you to meet accreditation standards, and showcase your commitment to education quality and compliance. 
  • Improved educational offerings: You can leverage Watermark to enhance the quality of your programs. Our platform's assessment tools can help you measure student outcomes, allowing for evidence-based improvements in curriculum, teaching methodologies, and overall program effectiveness. We can help you retain students and improve educational outcomes.
  • Streamlined processes: We help simplify the often intricate process of data collection and analysis. Our intuitive interface and robust features reduce administrative burdens, allowing you to focus on interpreting insights and implementing effective strategies. 
  • Informed decision-making: When you choose us, you get access to actionable insights that inform better decision-making. Watermark allows you to make strategic choices based on reliable data, leading to optimized resource allocation and improvements that align with your institution's goals.

Compared to Starfish, our software provides a more comprehensive overview of your student data, helping you discover actionable insights that can help you make changes and propel your institution forward. You'll gather feedback following any changes you make and continue to adjust as needed to ensure student success and engagement. 

Starfish Overview

Starfish Overview 

Starfish is a student-focused platform designed to cultivate engagement and learning outcomes. Its array of features consists of early alerts, academic planning, and support services. These capabilities allow institutions to identify and intervene with students at risk. The platform's emphasis on engagement makes it valuable for institutions that prioritize student support and retention initiatives. 

By prioritizing degree planning and analytics, Starfish can enhance advising, alerts, and appointment setting. Its user-friendly interface can foster faculty-student collaboration, personalized guidance, and timely interventions. 

While the platform can facilitate collaboration between advisors and students, Watermark excels in assessment and accreditation support while providing more comprehensive data insight to improve retention rates. Our specialized focus on program quality enhancement and evidence-based decision-making position us as the superior choice for institutions seeking a comprehensive and strategic approach to data-driven excellence. 

Factors to Consider Before Investing in Watermark or Starfish 

Investing in student data software is a significant decision that demands careful consideration of various factors. When evaluating your options between Watermark or Starfish, weigh these key considerations to ensure the platform aligns with your strategic goals and operational needs: 

  • Institutional goals and priorities: Before investing, ensure that the platform aligns with your institution's specific goals. Watermark excels in program assessment, accreditation support, and data-driven decision-making while Starfish focuses on degree planning, analytics, appointments, and some alerts. Understanding your institution's goals and mission will guide your choice between the platforms. 
  • Data needs and capabilities: Assess your institution's data capabilities and needs. Watermark specializes in data-driven assessment and student engagement while Starfish focuses on advisor and faculty collaboration. Choose the platform that helps you collect, analyze, and leverage data effectively. 
  • Program enhancement vs. student engagement: Determine whether your institution seeks to improve program quality through assessment or prioritize engagement to determine the platform that will yield the most benefits. Many colleges and universities have chosen Watermark as their higher education software because we prioritize these needs and more. 
  • Accreditation requirements: Consider our expertise in compliance reporting and documentation. Our platform streamlines accreditation-related data, making it beneficial for institutions seeking to maintain accreditation standards.
  • Integration with existing systems: Evaluate how well each platform integrates with your institution's existing technology ecosystem. Invest in a platform that provides free implementation courses. Seamless integration can streamline workflows and enhance user experience. 
  • Scalability and future needs: Assess the platforms' scalability to accommodate for potential growth and future needs of your institution. Choose a platform that can adapt to your institution's changing requirements and expansion.
  • Support and training: Investigate the quality of customer support and training offered by the platforms. Adequate support and training are crucial in helping you implement and use the software correctly. 
  • User feedback and case studies: Research user feedback and case studies from institutions similar to yours. Real-world experiences can offer insights into how each platform performs in various scenarios.

Thorough consideration of these factors is crucial before investing in Watermark or Starfish. By aligning the chosen platform with your institution's priorities and operational context, you can make an informed decision that maximizes the benefits of student data software. 

See Our Solutions in Action

Student data software plays an important role in higher education, offering institutions the tools to enhance student success and streamline administrative processes. Using robust student data can provide you with a comprehensive view of student performance, helping you promote change and foster a supportive environment for growth and learning. In this way, Watermark can provide more benefits for your institution. 

Discover the transformative power of our software. Unlock a holistic approach to assessment, program quality enhancement, and accreditation support. From empowering faculty to enhancing curriculum effectiveness to fostering a culture of continuous improvement, we are your partner in driving institutional excellence.

Learn more about our Student Success & Engagement solution or request a demo tailored to your institution's needs today. Boost your institution's educational quality and effectiveness with a solution designed to propel you forward.

See Our Solutions in Action

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