Who is looking at what data?

Designing for your audience

In any school there is a clear need for clarity around who is looking at what data and for what purpose. Instead of starting with what data we should be looking at, we must first consider the audience and the questions they want answered. After establishing our audience, we can better decide what data they are looking at and how it is best visualized.

This resource is designed to provide you with specific audiences needs, however as we design data experiences in schools it is recommended you also interview your stakeholders to learn about what you need in your context. The better you understand your audience's needs by listening to them the better able you are to start devising dashboards and data “looks” to meet their needs.

There are many stakeholders in schools, however 3 key audiences to consider are:

  • Leadership

  • Student Support Services

  • Teachers/Advisors


Leadership may include:

  • Principals

  • Associate Principals

  • Curriculum and Learning Office Leaders

  • Teacher Leaders

Most importantly, leadership teams work together to measure progress of year long goals connected to strategic initiatives. The school would meed to figure out what metrics would best identify the measurement of success towards these goals. Common quantitative measurements of year long goals are perception/survey data and aggregate academic data. It is not always necessary to quantify success of year long goals as we can often identify that our efforts are giving us the impact we intend through conversation, check ins, and creative measurements. (For more details about measuring progress towards initiatives have a look here: “coming soon”)

When selecting data Leadership will generally be looking at division/whole school data including benchmark assessments, report card data, teacher/parent/student surveys/feedback, and measures of annual divisional and whole school goals.

Questions for Leadership that certain data looks may answer:

  • How will we use data to celebrate success and motivate teachers?

  • What learning conditions support deep learning and design strategies to create improved conditions?

  • How will we make sure that all students are benefiting and we are becoming more inclusive as we work toward our shared vision?

  • Where are we in our journey toward our year long goals tied to school wide strategic initiatives and how do we know we are making progress?

Leadership will need to look at aggregate data in order to find ways to support teacher teams, departments, that will help us all do even better for our students.

Example: Aggregate Report Card Data Breakdown

Consider the data look below that answers: How are our students performing against standards across departments, grades, teachers, and gender?

This Standards Based Report Card data look allows leadership to Inquire about:

  • Areas of the curriculum that students are struggling in and the distribution of success across standards.

  • Consistency of assessment practices and opportunities for calibration. (*Note the teacher comparison chart is dangerous and can be removed when showing teachers)

  • How our students are performing in different subjects and how the leadership can different support those subjects.

Student Support Services

  • Student support teachers may include

  • Learning Support Teachers

  • Counselors

  • Learning Specialists

Student support teacher’s need data systems and structures to help with determining & monitoring students who need extra support. Support teachers often use screeners and speciality testing with some students, however they also need access to all student data in effort to support all students.

Data that they may look at range from languages/demographics, outside of school activities, SEL & student survey data, benchmark assessments, report card data, and input from various stakeholders (teachers, parents, students).

Questions for Student Support teams that certain data looks may answer:

  • How do we determine & monitor which students need extra support?

  • Are our students getting the right support?

  • How do we know our instructional practices, interventions and/or accommodations are meeting students' needs?

  • How can teams focus their conversations and work on supporting all students?

  • What additional supports, structures, or professional development are needed to ensure we can meet the needs of all students at ASIJ?

One of the best ways for student support teachers to look at data is to look at in tabular form with as many metrics as possible. When data is set up in a table we can sort by different metrics and identify students of need and find the right support. We also may notice students that are receiving support but share similar data that students that are not yet receiving support.

Example: List of Students and Multiple Data Points

You will notice that the data look below has multiple metrics with every row representing 1 student. Setting up the data like this allows us to sort students and better identify strengths and needs.

This Standards Based Report Card data look allows Student Support Teams inform conversations about:

  • What students are not on our radar that might need more support?

  • What students are on our case load that may not need as much support going forward?

  • How might we correlate these different metrics, including what we know about them beyond this data?


Student support teachers may include

  • Advisors

  • Classroom teachers

  • Teaching teams

Teachers and Collaborative teams use data to help them explore strengths and needs of individual students students.

Common data that teachers may look at are individual student benchmark assessment data, individual SEL data, and common formative assessment results including student work. Teachers are working with students everyday and have opportunities to confer, mentor, and directly support individual students. The best data looks that will inform teachers of individual students are detailed data profiles.

Questions for teachers that certain data looks may answer:

  • Who are my students?

  • What are our students strengths, needs, and interests as well as proficiency?

  • How can we design learning experiences that engage all students in deep learning and empower them as learners?

  • How will we (students, teachers, and teams) track progress and use that information to improve learning and inform next steps?

  • What individual growth can we celebrate?

  • How will we use this data to support students when they are not learning and extend and enrich for students who are already at meeting curricular goals?

Example: Student Data Profiles

One of the most powerful ways we can use data in schools is to allow it to inform mentor conversations with students.

When looking at the data profile before we can:

  • Identify areas of strength and growth as discussion points with our students.

  • Learn more about our students that we might not have known otherwise.

  • Value all data and see the whole child including SEL and wellness data next to academic data.