In the ever-evolving landscape of education, data has become a powerful tool for driving positive change and informed decision-making. But we consistently hear from clients that the amount of data they have is overwhelming, especially when it lives in so many different places.
That’s why we’re diving into how you can start democratizing your data and getting it into the hands of the people who drive action in their schools.
What’s the best way to get started?
There are three steps you can take to make sure you’re off to a good start with data analysis:
Identify what information lives in your SIS: A lot of the data you’ll need for a conversation on early warning indicators likely lives in your SIS, so you’ll want to know how to export that information to a more user-friendly view.
Get all of your data into one place: In addition to your SIS, you’ll want to gather data from sources like state assessments, SAT, ACT, etc. Software like Frontline Student Analytics Lab makes it easy to safely and securely compile all of your data from these external sources and combine with data from your SIS.
Keep your scope small: It might be tempting to dig into everything all at once, but as you start, you might want to keep your scope as small as possible while still having enough data to answer the questions you’re investigating. If you’re interested in seeing whether certain pockets of students or specific student groups are chronically absent, you won’t need a dashboard with grades.
Want to see how Frontline Student Analytics Lab works?
Watch this on demand webinar to see how your can use this tool for early warning indicators. Watch Now
Early Warning Indicators: What do they mean to you?
Early warning indicators can mean a lot of different things depending on the context.
But there are some commonalities we see regardless of what the early warning is indicating. First, you’ll need baseline data. Depending on the questions you have in mind, a state assessment might be your baseline. And then there are a few variables that come up most often: absences, discipline, and grades.
Why Use Software?
Highly visual reporting and dashboards: rather than spending time digesting a spreadsheet to find insights, you can get visuals that act as a shortcut to the insights so you can talk more about what’s happening that would cause those results
Get a birds’ eye view, or drill down to the building and student level: with stagnant reporting data, it’s harder to pivot to talking about multiple variables like a particular building in the district or a particular ethnic group. A dynamic tool allows you to investigate in real time.
One place for all of the data: if you limit your data to your SIS, you might be missing data points.
Elise is a writer and member of the award-winning content team at Frontline Education. A former member of Frontline’s events team, she is passionate about making connections, whether that be in person at events, online via social media or directly in her writing.