Can you imagine a world where school districts are able to make data-driven decisions to allocate scarce resources to students who are in most need? Or skillfully aggregate and analyze data to improve metrics like attendance, graduation rates, and test results? With increasing access to data and advancements in analytics, this isn’t a pipe dream. In fact, schools and districts across the country are cultivating rich data and using it to advance academic achievement today.
Although we all understand the importance of data in advancing academic performance, there’s often a wide gap between the data schools put into their system and the data taken out to perform efficient and effective analyses. That’s why Macro Connect and EdOps are teaming up to help you close that gap and bring this reality to life in your district.
On February 20th Macro Connect and EdOps will be delivering a FREE interactive half-day workshop to walk you through the steps that will help you put good data in, and therefore get informative analytics out.
Get Out What You Put In
The most effective way to stop a problem is to address it at the gate. Once it gets past your initial line of defense, it can really wreak havoc. The same rules apply to your data! The right data can help you understand which students are succeeding and which are struggling. It can also shed light on a variety of other items ranging from application usage to the effectiveness of school intervention strategies. Bad data can act like a poison in your system, skewing your analytics. Unfortunately, many districts are letting bad data enter their system, crippling their ability to make informed decisions in the future.
Spending time working with dozens of clients has given us the ability to pinpoint the biggest areas of weakness summarized into two main categories: Data Quality and System Configuration.
Up to 80% of a data project’s efforts are spent on data cleansing and quality assurance preparation. It’s like refining gold. No one wants a ring with dirty gravel mixed in! Clean data not only saves time but gives you better results. Data quality is comprised of a few factors including:
- Completeness: Are all the fields filled in? Partially filled log files aren’t very helpful. In the world of data, half a picture can be worse than no picture at all.
- Validity: Is the data relevant to the analysis you’re conducting? We need to make sure we’re actually using oranges to make orange juice.
- Timeliness: How old is the data? Attendance data that’s two weeks late may not be quality data. And test scores from two years ago are probably not helpful.
- Accuracy: Is the data even true? And do you have processes in place to make sure the accuracy of the data is reliable?
- Consistency: Are your data-gathering and data-entry practices standardized so that you can clearly observe trends over time?
We’ve accumulated several best practices to make sure you can maintain quality data in your database and we’re going to share them in our session!
You could have the best tires and engines to make the world’s best car, but if you don’t have an assembly line, you might as well have nothing. Quality data is useless if you don’t have the right systems in place to capture, record, and process it. The harder it is to enter data into your system, the harder it will be to use that data. We’ll also share these System Configuration best practices during our session!
Why Data Analytics Are Important
Data-driven decision-making is at the core of most high-performing schools and school districts. Organizations that invest financial and time resources into a cohesive data ecosystem are able to efficiently track individual and aggregate student performance to improve outcomes. Integrating analytics within an organization is certainly a process that requires strategic thought and effort. We have years of experience helping schools across the country with their data analytics. We’ll share our best practices about reporting processes, systems, and visualizations that have helped those schools make better, data-driven decisions in support of student achievement.
The Data Day Overview
Data Day will take place on Thursday, February 20, 2020. This half-day workshop will be held at Macro Connect’s headquarters in Hunt Street Station at 2200 Hunt St, Detroit, MI 48207. That’s just northeast of downtown off Gratiot, near Eastern Market.
We know school leaders have a lot on their plate, so it will be a focused, productive session that gives attendees plenty of time to get some work done in the afternoon. And it’s FREE!
The workshop will be divided into two parts, each lasting 90 minutes:
Part 1 – 9:00am-10:30am
Macro Connect: Optimizing Your Student Data and Systems
This first session will focus on collecting and cleaning the data from your SIS. The better-quality data you start with, the better predictive analytics you can hope to get out.
Part 2 – 10:30am-Noon
EdOps: Building Effective Internal Data Reporting Structures
The second session will focus on processing and analyzing data to glean useful insights. We will help participants develop an internal student data reporting plan and explore student performance metrics commonly tracked at state and local levels. Then we’ll help you link those metrics to internal data systems, understand how to manage reporting contributors and audiences, and explore effective data visualizations.
If you are interested in initial development or ways to enhance your internal student data reporting, then this session is for you. By the end of the morning, you’ll have a defined plan to make your internal student data reporting more powerful for your organization. You’ll be able to:
- Define which student performance metrics are most critical to student and school success.
- Develop a clear, organized way to track data points collected in various student information systems.
- Build a sustainable data reporting cycle that consistently monitors progress throughout the school year.
- Create strong data visualizations to enhance your existing reporting.
Since 2002, EdOps has worked with some of the nation’s best schools and education-focused nonprofits. We currently serve more than 80 schools nationally in Washington, DC, Missouri, Maryland, Michigan, Louisiana, California, Pennsylvania and New York. This national perspective and local Michigan presence allows us to bring best practices from around the country to enhance our local expertise to benefit a single school organization. Our model allows EdOps professionals to provide the hands-on, tailored, and responsive services that are required to effectively manage the finance, student data and accounting function of a school.
Our team members come from a variety of backgrounds, many with direct school experience and advanced degrees from top graduate programs. All EdOps professionals are committed to our mission of providing outstanding service to our clients. We work with schools daily to help leaders think strategically about their business and operations – whether in finance, student data, facilities, or human resources.
Finally, EdOps is a social enterprise. As a Certified B Corp, we must meet rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability and transparency. We believe in the importance of the work of our school partners and express that belief through the level of support we provide.
About Macro Connect
Since 1997, Macro Connect has followed through on its mission to deliver the highest quality IT and Data solutions to hundreds of small businesses, non-profit organizations, and schools in Metro Detroit and around the country. We run our company using principles gleaned from some of the highest performing companies in the world. In doing so, we maintain incredibly high standards for our results internally and within the community.
Our 24 person team offers streamlined information systems management processes and superior customer support capabilities. This enables the 500+ schools, districts, education management organizations, and ISDs we work with to fully maximize the value of their technology investments.
As an embodiment of our obsession with customer service, all consultants are employees and not contractors. Every Macro Connect consultant commits to participating in weekly status meetings with their teams, quarterly reviews with their managers, annual goal-setting, and 100 hours of professional development per year.