Regional education data warehouses have the power to help schools, districts, and states unlock crucial educational insights and facilitate positive student outcomes.
With increased access to “big data” in education, school districts across the country have found themselves in need of a robust data infrastructure that not only facilitates compliant reporting (in response to ESSA, for example), but provides actionable insights for educators.
As the Senior Director of Data Governance Strategies in the Santa Clara County Office of Education, I’ve spent over 20 years working to guide strategic institutional change and implement data-based quality management processes. Throughout my career, I’ve seen firsthand how regional agencies can support districts by connecting state and district-level data to create timely, actionable insights.
Regional education data warehouses can provide the infrastructure needed to knit together disparate data management systems used on state, municipal, and district levels. By consolidating, cleaning, and analyzing data across a variety of sources — and by making that data widely accessible to a variety of stakeholders — regional data warehouses have the power to answer critical policy questions, enable robust research, and engage expertise beyond educational departments. Perhaps most importantly, regional data warehouses equip states, districts, and schools to better serve both educators and their students.
Below are just four of the many advantages that regional data warehouses can offer. In my white paper, Making the Case for Regional Data Warehousing, I further explore the the history of educational data and the important role regional agencies can play in improving student outcomes.
1. A Broader Base of Data
Unlike municipal data sets tied to social services, public health, juvenile justice, early childhood providers, workforce development etc., education datasets, tied to compulsory education laws for all children, are more inclusive of all children in a community.
Using K-12, charter, and private school data as foundational datasets represents a strong first step in creating a comprehensive central repository that, when combined with other municipal datasets with appropriate security protocols, could inform regional policy-driven research and practice and lead to better outcomes for children.
2. Efficiency and Cost Savings
Building a regional data warehouse can realize significant cost savings and enhance collaborative efforts through the use of a shared data model, standard data definitions, and centralized data storage. Developing such a system of shared infrastructure coordinates resources and spreads costs among regional players so that smaller, less resource-rich districts would be able to benefit from and contribute to regional efforts to support greater student attainment.
3. Provide Real-Time Access
Regional warehouses have the capacity to provide teachers, administrators, parents, and community stakeholders with real-time access to more granular information on how students are progressing. Often the latency and limited scope of information provided in state longitudinal data systems impedes local use.
4. Inform and Improve Professional Development
Regional centers already provide professional development to their districts. Housing the region’s data warehouse would enable the centers’ trainers to gain valuable regional perspectives on school and district progress.
Interested in learning more about the efficiencies, cost savings, and improved student outcomes that regional data warehousing can facilitate? Download my white paper, Making the Case for Regional Data Warehousing.
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