Strategic Use of Data Rubric

The SDP Strategic Use of Data Rubric is a resource to provide direction and support to education organizations in their efforts to transform their use of data. The rubric establishes a common language and framework to more clearly illustrate what effective data use at the system level can look like.

THE NEED: A METHOD TO DESCRIBE STRATEGIC DATA USE

SDP educational leaders already have the talent, knowledge, and motivation to improve the strategic data use in their organizations. Yet they may not have clarity around where to start, what direction to take, or even what it might look like to use data more strategically.

THE TOOL: THE SDP STRATEGIC USE OF DATA RUBRIC

The SDP Strategic Use of Data Rubric PDF The rubric is intended to help educational leaders review the varied aspects of data use across different areas of system-level operations. It provides a structured and systematic way to assess an organization’s strengths and challenges around data use. It also highlights relevant information that enables an organization to effectively focus its efforts and resources in ways that will markedly impact planning, strategy, resource allocation, and accountability. As a result, organizations will be better equipped to develop clearer opportunities to impact and improve student outcomes.
Download the SDP Strategic Use of Data Rubric
Download the SDP Self-Assessment Guide

WHAT DOES THE RUBRIC PROVIDE FOR EDUCATION ORGANIZATIONS AND LEADERS?

  • Common language about what it means to “use data better.”

  • Framework for structured review of data use across the organization.

  • Process to understand the successes and the challenges around the organization’s data use.

  • Method that highlights what can be done to address the most critical issues.

  • Information to support a concrete vision of an improved future.

  • Ingredients for an action plan that directs the organization to achieve its vision.

THE APPLICATION: HOW TO USE THE RUBRIC

The rubric is divided into three main sections that focus on the primary areas that we believe are the most important to drive strategic data use: 

  1. Programs and Major Initiatives
  2. Performance Management
  3. Resource Allocation and Budgeting

Within each section, the rubric looks more deeply into topic areas that reflect ways in which data is incorporated into organizations. Each topic area is then populated by items that describe specific components of data use, set sequentially along spectrum from “Basic” to “Exemplary.” The “Exemplary” rating is an ideal. While some organizations excel in data use in certain areas, no U.S. education system, at least none we are aware of, is exemplary across all areas. 

Educational leaders can utilize the valuable information in the rubric both on their own with the Self-Assessment Guide below, or with SDP, by collaborating to conduct a structured Review of Strategic Data Use within their organization.

Self-Assesssment Guide PDF

SELF-ASSESSMENT GUIDE

The self-assessment tool provides a set of guiding questions that can facilitate an interactive use of the rubric’s content. Leaders can use the guide to drive productive conversations about data use in cross-functional meetings, or trainings and workshops with organizational teams. The tool can also serve as a foundation for regular evaluations of system-wide performance around data and analytical goals.
Download the Self-Assessment Guide
SDP Review of Strategic Data Use PDF

SDP REVIEW OF STRATEGIC DATA USE

Educational leaders can work directly with SDP to review how their organization captures, uses, and consumes data for decision making. Using the Rubric as a foundation for comprehensive interviews of staff and leadership and thorough reviews of system documents, SDP can provide an objective and thorough understanding of a district or state agency’s strategic data use.

Example: 
SDP Review of Strategic Data Use for the Howard County Public School System (April 2013)

To inquire about the rubric, or to discuss how SDP can help review the strategic data use in your organization, contact us at sdp@gse.harvard.edu

See also: Resource