Best Practice

Getting honest with your school's student data

In an era of big data, we can easily lose our way navigating the wealth of information we collect. Assistant principal Giselle Hobbs decided to go back to basics with her school’s new approach to data

Entering data, analysing data, attending data meetings, nodding wisely at charts and graphs. After all of this time and effort, many teachers are left wondering – what’s the point?

In this era of “big data”, it has become de rigeur to collect as many data points as possible, and figure out what to do with them later. We count up, compare our results to the national average, to last year’s results, subject to subject. We split our data into ever-smaller sets, then extrapolate wildly.

By the time we have done all of that, the data is four weeks out of date and we have missed our chance for timely action. In the meantime, those doing the collecting feel hugely overburdened, and rarely see useful results from all the number-crunching.

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