Universal Journal of Educational Research Vol. 4(11), pp. 2493 - 2501
DOI: 10.13189/ujer.2016.041101
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Data Systems and Reports as Active Participants in Data Interpretation

Jenny Grant Rankin *
University of Cambridge (Postdoc Masterclass), UK


Most data-informed decision-making in education is undermined by flawed interpretations. Educator-driven interventions to improve data use are beneficial but not omnipotent, as data misunderstandings persist at schools and school districts commended for ideal data use support. Meanwhile, most data systems and reports display figures without supporting guidance concerning the data's proper interpretation, and data reports often do not reflect best design practices for effective communication of data. Yet there are strong evidence data systems and reports, if modified to adhere to research-based best practices, can play an active role in supporting understanding of the data and appropriate use of the data. This paper features examples of how Over-the-Counter Data Standards can be applied to data systems and reports in order to report data to educators in ways most likely to render appropriate interpretation. These standards are derived from a quantitative study of 211 educators and a qualitative study of over 300 studies and other expert sources investigating how to best improve data systems and reports. This paper's examples involve enhancing data with labels, supplemental documentation, a help system, effective package/display, and adequate content. Educators' data interpretations were 205 to 436 percent more accurate depending on the standard applied to their data reporting tools.

Data, Data-driven Decision-making, Data-informed Decision-making, Data System, Data Use, Edtech, Educational Technology, Student Data

Cite this paper
Jenny Grant Rankin (2016). Data Systems and Reports as Active Participants in Data Interpretation. Universal Journal of Educational Research, 4 , 2493 - 2501. doi: 10.13189/ujer.2016.041101.