Canada Association of Tourism Employees

Optimize Pupil Information As An Agent For Change

Create comprehensive, accessible data

Student data is like the words on a book page; Its black and white text might not look like much at first, but it tells a unique and intricate story.

Getting this story across to stakeholders in vivid colors is an important task with the potential to improve student learning. It starts with making sure the data is accessible to everyone involved and taking the time to examine the data from all angles.

The importance of optimizing your student data

Much more than just test results, student data is multi-layered and includes academic information, demographic information, student actions (like behavior and attendance), and more. It is necessary to bring all of these types of data together to get a clear picture of student learning.

Data is one of the most powerful and useful tools we have to help students get the most out of their education. It is not just a snapshot of what was or is; It’s also a snapshot of what can be if you know how to interpret and respond to it.

The data quality campaign explains what education will be like when data works for all students:

  • Students will know their strengths and where to grow, and they will be better equipped to shape their educational path.
  • Parents know what to do to help their children succeed.
  • Teachers know where their students are doing well and where they are struggling, and can better empower them to help the children grow.
  • School principals will know what works and what doesn’t in their schools. You will be able to make timely decisions and ensure that resources support good teaching and improve student learning.
  • Afterschool partners will know what is happening to the children by 3:00 p.m. and will help families and communities create more opportunities for student success.

As you can see, extensive student data opens the door to more possibilities. However, it is not enough to have this data on hand; You also need to examine the data in the right way.

The importance of different views

For this idealistic vision to become a reality, district leaders must commit to analyzing data from all angles.

Think of it this way: the first time you see a peacock from behind, it might not look like much. You would see a patterned fan, but dark and muffled. Only when you went forward would you find out that it was a living bird in beautiful, bright colors.

Student data is the same way; You don’t know what you have until you consider all of the sides. Looking at data differently means that educators with different backgrounds and backgrounds select different highlights to focus on. For example, a special education teacher sees different patterns than a district curriculum and lesson administrator.

When you combine multiple data visualizations with multiple subject areas, you get full access to the history of student learning and further insights to guide growth. And isn’t that what the data is ultimately about?

Visualize data better

Start by breaking out of columns and rows. Ordinary spreadsheets are great for those who have a lot of experience with them, but for those who don’t, the black and white mess of numbers can be quite overwhelming. To get the best analysis and feedback from all of your stakeholders, the data needs to be fully accessible.

This is where your management software system comes in. Ideally, your software will allow you to get reports, custom data mining reports, and then export them to a companion system that you can use to identify trends. (If you’re looking for a companion system to transform your data but aren’t sure where to start, check out this list [1] of the nine best visualization tools of 2021.) Some student information systems can even display data in the form of charts and graphs right on your dashboard [2] So you don’t have to create all of the visualizations yourself.

Well told story

As they say, knowledge is power. By better understanding student status through comprehensive, accessible data, district leaders will have the opportunity to improve the educational experience for all students.


[1] Top 9 data visualization tools for 2021

[2] Improving your dashboard

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