Missing Important Data?
This pandemic year has shown us that teachers and administrators don’t have access to all the data they need.
Data-driven instruction depends on comprehensive, real-time data. To answer the most impactful questions, teachers need access to a full picture of student data: How well are students progressing? Which students are struggling with remote instruction? Which students are engaged? Where should we focus our attention?
Many districts are planning for data dashboards in the 2021-22 school year, to give teachers and administrators actionable, real-time data to guide instruction, apply interventions and monitor accountability.
Try this helpful checklist as you’re planning for next year.
1. Know Your Dashboard Priorities (aka Choose Your Quick Wins)
- The most successful data dashboards happen when districts can identify their priorities―or chief “use cases”―up front. What questions are you trying to answer? What information do you need? Consider what is most important to your educators and students. Is it important to track academic growth? Do you need early-warning student watchlists? Looking to track state accountability metrics with real-time data? Concerned about student attendance and remote engagement? Documenting your priorities now will help your district focus and ensure that your first data dashboards will impact teaching and learning―and your district’s ability to reach all students.
2. Start with the Data Basics
- Just as you’ll be concentrating on your key use cases, you’ll want to identify your most important data systems to integrate with your dashboard solution. Ideally, you’ll choose a solution that’s not focused on just one data system, but brings together data from multiple, separate systems for an integrated, comprehensive picture of each student and learning trends, overall. Most districts start with their student information system, assessment data from state assessments, interim assessments, literacy assessments, etc., and other key student information, such as student engagement metrics from the learning management system (LMS) and social-emotional learning (SEL) data.
3. Drill Down
- When choosing a data dashboard solution, you’ll want to be sure that your educators and administrators can drill down into the data―sometimes called “exploring” the data. Another term is “slicing and dicing.” This means that you can interact with the data, apply filters (such as student demographics or proficiency levels), or compare data by grade or school. You want to be sure the data displayed is not static but can be easily explored to give you deeper insights about students, their progress and their needs.
4. See Data in Real Time
- Often, the information given to educators is relevant only at a point in time. State accountability ratings are an example of static data―usually they reflect metrics that can be up to a year old. Educators need real-time data and want to evaluate trends and changes over time. Your data dashboard solution should be able to display current data about students and district performance, so that you can apply immediate, impactful instructional modifications and interventions.
5. Choose a Flexible User Model
- You can accelerate your data dashboards by considering your user model ahead of time. Choose a solution that will allow you to create user roles (e.g., principals, teachers), and consider how and who you want to create visualizations (reports, charts, watchlists, scorecards) and share them with peers, departments and schools. Be sure your dashboard solution has a highly flexible user model (sometimes called “security management”) and can notify users when a visualization or dashboard is shared with them.
6. Evaluate Long-Term Costs
- You don’t need a data warehouse expert on your IT staff to have a robust data dashboard solution. You can minimize long-term costs by choosing a dashboard solution that is hosted and fully supported by the solution provider. You won’t need additional hardware, software or technical training if you choose a complete, managed data dashboard solution, keeping down district costs.
See the Videri dashboard & analytics solution and request a demo at CerticaSolutions.com/DataDashboards