Why use data in schools?

Data in any organization is a support tool allowing members to better carry out their core mission, vision, and values. The highest quality schools use data to cultivate a culture of curiosity where teachers and teams regularly discuss how they can do even better for their students.

Data provides the power to:

  • Drive curiosity

  • Make better decisions

  • Know the impact of our work and how it benefits children

  • Measure progress towards initiatives

  • Lead to change

  • Celebrate success

3 Ways Data Supports Schools

Data helps people in an organization that is committed to the mission and vision and enable productive conversations, mark areas for improvement, and supports decision making.

Inform Productive Conversations

  • Schools are about students and we value how data informs conversations about them.

  • Formative data usage is a powerful strategy for enabling instructional agility and informs student needs in conversation.

  • Talking about data as a 3rd point on top of our current understandings and observations, reveals assumptions and mindsets that may hinder growth and pathways to effective support.

What we think we know colors our vision

Our assumptions about a student can unwittingly influence our mindset about them. By using data to inform our conversations we can be more productive and see all students 
in a new context apart from potentially limiting perspectives.

Data visualization can show us the full spectrum

Support Decision Making

  • Data helps us challenge our assumptions and perceptions while also supporting our intuition. This can help us ask better questions and make better decisions that affect one child, a whole class, or an entire school.

  • Stakeholders will demand an evidence base to support large and small decisions about programs or interventions that impact their learners. This allows us to offer a clear why for our decisions.

  • By using data as a fundamental component of our decision-making process we can validate our actions and expose other areas that may be of greater importance and address authentic needs.

Identify Areas of Improvement and Set Goals

School faculty and administration have a limited amount of time to understand and implement an often increasing variety of competing and important initiatives. Data can be used to help steer this time and energy where it is needed most and can have the greatest impact.

  • Use reliable and actionable metrics to set achievable and high leverage goals for improvement.

  • Develop and take interim measurements that will help track improvement.

  • Data also helps us monitor the success of our initiatives and interventions once those goals have been established.

Expanding resource pool available here.