Many districts today are data rich, but information poor. Schools have an abundance of data in spreadsheets, data tables, notebook covers full of URLs and logins; however, most still struggle to use the data so that it effectively drives instruction. It does not have to be this way.

Analytics systems exist to help put all of the disparate data in a single place to make the data inter-relatable and dynamic. An analytics system allows us to look at current scores, to isolate a group of students who received a particular grade, then look at that group’s attendance in just a few clicks rather than someone spending a week exporting data from different data sources and combining spreadsheets.

What kinds of questions can you ask that can support students and educators in the classroom? Consider these options:

Question 1. How do I identify students who have transitioned from On Track to At Risk using an Early Warning System? My goal is to create an action plan to get those students back on track.

Question 2. How do I use assessment data to create a group of ‘bubble’ students who are close to achieving the next level? My goal is to design and implement targeted interventions to close gaps so students make tangible progress.

Question 3. How do I uncover grade inflation or inconsistencies between class/course grades and assessment performance? How do I identify students receiving A or B grades in class but not meeting benchmarks on assessments? How do I analyze other areas like Attendance or Discipline, to drill down to a small group of students who may need a non-academic intervention, such as a tutorial in test-taking or a parent conference regarding attendance?

Question 4. How do I use standards-based results to identify first steps with a new class of students before they walk into class on day 1? My goal is to have a data-driven differentiation plan in place to begin targeting skills below grade level that students are lacking during the first 2 weeks of school.

Asking the right question is crucial. We spend a lot of time in meetings about students discussing things we cannot control within the limited time they are in our classrooms. Students will ultimately benefit and grow only if we spend our time tackling real, tangible problems rather than merely crunching the numbers.

Intrigued? Check out our eBook to learn more