Interoperability: What will you do with your data?

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It’s 2020. Innovations in education technology abound, all promising to provide more customized and personalized learning experiences for students. And since each new advance provides more student data, we have more data than ever before. Each innovation brings an opportunity to more deeply understand our students and for students to get real-time feedback about their performance and control their learning experience. We have so many possibilities. Fundamentally, more data gives us an opportunity to better and more equitably serve our students, but so often we struggle to capitalize on its promise. Most people who’ve worked in a schools have experienced the reality of data that they can’t access, understand, or use in a timely manner. 


With this influx of data, teachers should have multiple sources of information about who their students are, what they think, and how they’re learning. Schools and districts should be able to be immediately responsive to student needs that arise. So why isn’t this happening? So many reasons: there are multiple, complex data systems that don’t speak to each other. There are reports that are difficult to access and read. The security of student information outweighs ease of access. Teachers, counselors, and other support staff aren’t able to access all information or collaborate meaningfully. And there’s so much stale data-- leading to the frustrating experience of trying to wring out actionable information from a months-old assessment. We all know data is a critical lever for supporting students. We all want to be able to access and use it in on demand and responsive ways. That’s where data interoperability comes in. 


Data Interoper..what? 

Data interoperability creates the seamless, secure, and controlled exchange of data between applications. In other words, all the data you collect as a school in one place with one log in, accessible to multiple users. It has the potential to provide real-time feedback to students and teachers-- helping them to ensure that instruction and interventions are moving students toward goals based on their individual needs. So no more different logins and dashboards, no more translating numerous report formats, no more security challenges, and assessment data that’s available as soon as it’s released in your Student Information System.  


How does DataZone support interoperability?

DataZone provides schools and districts with interoperability so they can better understand and meet their students’ needs. DataZone provides easily accessible data that can be utilized by multiple users in a district/school, while maintaining data security. You can easily access individual student data and reports by groups on multiple measures.  IImagine being able to pull a report cross referencing students scores on an assessment with their demographic information, language status and attendance records. You can do that in DataZone! Learn how to navigate the domains here. DataZone-- 


How can you maximize your DataZone use? 

  • Maintain data quality - DataZone pulls from your Student Information System (SIS), it is dependent on the information going into your SIS from other sources, so it’s important to maintain clean data. Determine agreements about how data is entered and stored, and work with your DataZone support person to share and align policies and practices. 
  • Utilize reports to triangulate data -With DataZone you have the ability to pull multiple data points across domains/topics (i.e. attendance, discipline, and grades). In order to leverage these reports to learn about and support students and their learning, engage in data analysis protocols (link to resources) to ask questions about what’s happening in the data without bias and use the data to learn about the impact of your actions. .
  • Create data-driven interventions and monitor impact - DataZone gives you multiple data points at the tips of your fingers, which you can use to understand which students need various types of support. Creating intervention groups allows you easily track a group in order to progress monitor the effectiveness of your interventions. 
  • Reporting features - easily access data across domains/topics to provide updates and reports to key stakeholders.