The Data Imperative, Part III: Harnessing the Power of Data

The Data Imperative, Part III: Harnessing the Power of Data

Editor’s note: This week, EP is posting a three-part series about challenges of data use in education from a recent report from Mathematica Policy Research, how to solve those challenges, and how we can harness the power of data. In Part I of this series, we talk about challenges in using data in education. In Part II, we talked about solving those challenges.

From Moneyball to FitBit, data have hit the mainstream.

In education, how can we harness the power of information to yield tremendous benefits for students, schools, and organizations?

Let’s start with something as straightforward as attendance.

Showing up for class is a critical element for at-risk students to succeed in high school and graduate. Instead of just checking names off of a list, how can we use attendance data in a meaningful way that helps kids stay in school?

Two EP Alumnae, Miriam Altman and Alexandra Meis – who were just named to Forbes’ 30 Under 30 list – developed the Kinvolved app to do just that: make attendance meaningful.

Kinvolved tracks students’ attendance in a way that is more easily shareable with schools, families, and coaches. That means that the people who are important in kids’ lives know whether or not they’re in school.

As a result, Kinvolved could help eliminate chronic absenteeism and ensure that students show up for class, increase their chances of academic success, and graduate from high school.

Opportunities abound in education to work with current data if we look for them.

When we have insight into which instructional lessons are/aren’t resonating with students, then we can adjust instruction accordingly. When we have information about why high school graduates don’t follow through on their intentions to enroll in college, then we can intervene.  When stakeholder survey results tell us if a particular program is/isn’t meeting its intended goals, then we can make changes.

Without that critical information – data – we’re working blindly. We owe it to our students to get our work right.

And we only know if we’re getting it right by what the data and analyses say.

If your organization needs technically skilled data experts who can conduct complex analyses, Education Pioneers can meet those human capital needs.

Begin a Partner Application     Connect with our Team

Eugine Chung Eugine Chung is the Vice President of Strategy & Learning for Education Pioneers (EP) and an EP Alumna. She is responsible for ensuring that EP is guided by a strategy that enables us to maximize our impact, respond to our partners’ needs, and adapt based on findings from evaluation. Eugine has a passion for developing leaders who can bring transformative change to ensure every child receives a high quality education.

By Eugine Chung, January 30, 2015