I had about a dozen conversations this past week about data analysis. Everybody is hot on the idea, but have questions on how to start, what is the best way, and who should do it. Here is the synopsis of what I shared.
1. Data should be used to change the future, not predict the future. Once you see the trend, get in front of it to alter the predicted result.
2. Initially, whoever is using the data needs to have a role in crunching the data. Yes, this is time consuming and inefficient. But this is a case where engaging in the process builds the insight to change the predicted results.
3. The data analysis and conversation should boil down to the identification of, and answer to, the following three questions.
A. What is working?
B. What is not working?
C. What will we do differently, NOW?
4. Data is power. The higher up in the command structure you are, the better you have to know the data. Teacher, do you want to help a student? Know his or her data and have an intervention. AP, do you want to help a teacher? Know his or her data and have an intervention. Principal, do you want to help an AP? Know his or her data and have an intervention. Assistant Superintendent, do you want to help a principal? Know his or her data and have an intervention. If all you have to offer is the advice, “work harder, faster and longer” then you really offer nothing.
Think. Work. Achieve.