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Part Two: Other Lessons to Improve the Data-Informed Culture of Educational Institutions

by NSC Blog | Oct 2, 2020 | Postsecondary Data Partnership, Research Services, Tips & Tricks |

Part Two of a Two-Part Series

During a webinar hosted by SHEEO, Dr. Jillian Kinzie, associate director, Center for Postsecondary Research and the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) Institute, at Indiana University School of Education, shared 10 key lessons to build a data-driven culture and encourage better decision-making. In this final part of a two-part blog series, review the other lessons.

6. Ensure Everybody Counts in your Counts

Data can be a source of inequality if data collection is not entirely inclusive or if it is analyzed without consideration of the relationship between majority or minority representation within the data. Institutions cannot have a healthy data culture on campus if minority voices are misrepresented by the aggregation of data.

This creates a dissonance between what the data shows as a whole versus what it may show when segmented by different demographics or tercile groupings. It’s important to use person-centered approaches to ensure that everyone feels represented by the data that is being used to make critical policy decisions.

7. Expose Myths and Respond with Data

A thriving data culture dispels myths when they are disproven by data. This demonstrates that data holds a cultural truth that outweighs other beliefs that do not have the right evidence to support its basis. Ultimately, this is a key assumption that needs to be embraced by all members of a community to normalize the reliance and application of data for decision-making.

8. Require Concrete Plans Linked to Data

Create plans linked to data. The insight provided by data is meaningless if it influences nothing. By using data-driven decisions to develop plans and policy structures, then educational institutions are capable of making more targeted recommendations. Make a requirement for reporting on how planned actions are represented by data.

9. Require Action on Data

Tangible actions that are driven by data demonstrates that a real connection exists between the two and that the very act of applying data affects the impact and intention of new policies. Educational institutions can facilitate action on data by supporting data-driven actions or commissioning internal or external evaluators to maintain a standard.

10. Close the Loop and Showcase the Data Use Story

Close the loop that shows what is learned from action on data, what change has resulted, and how an action taken made the change. It is important that success stories are celebrated so that it can be emulated or repeated by others within a data-driven culture.

More than 300 institutions across 41 states are now part of the Postsecondary Data Partnership (PDP) to take data-driven action and leverage valuable student insight for better policy decisions, richer insights, and significant time and resource savings with more efficient reporting procedures.

More than 300 institutions across 41 states are now part of the Postsecondary Data Partnership (PDP) to take data-driven action and leverage valuable student insight for better policy decisions, richer insights, and significant time and resource savings with more efficient reporting procedures.

 

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