What inspired you in 2021?

Help Us Celebrate Evidence-Informed Excellence 

Strong data work is critical to successful strategy, innovation, and improvement—yet because so many of our data successes are behind the scenes, this work is easy to take for granted. We want to change that.   

Help us showcase education agencies who are using data in all the right ways to improve the education sector. Tell us how your organization or an organization you admire is solving big thorny problems, tackling obstacles, and demonstrating what’s possible.  

We are looking for stories of school systems using data to improve student outcomes that will inspire and energize those across the SDP network. We will honor the best of these nominations with an award for strategic data excellence at our SDP Convening in May 2022 in Boston, MA. Regardless of the winner, we will share stories from across the network to elevate successes. 

Questions about this award or the nomination process? Email alison_segal@gse.harvard.edu.  


Award nominations are now closed for 2022. Stay tuned for more information for 2023!

Nomination Process 

To begin the nomination process, please fill out this brief form no later than February 21, 2022. In the nomination form you will be asked to elaborate on the excellent use of data or evidence, including the success or early impact of that effort, as well as the senior leader(s) and other staff who should be recognized for leading the work. 

Finalists will be selected and invited to submit a short video describing and showcasing their work.  

A panel of leaders, practitioners and researchers from the SDP Network, including the Alumni Council, will select which recipients to honor. Factors considered will include evidence of early success; impact on students, teachers, and/or leaders; technical innovation; and potential for replication. Overall, we’re looking for a compelling and inspirational story with potential for replication. 

Honorees will be announced at the SDP Convening in May 2022 during an evening reception, and attendees will be able to watch and learn from the videos of all finalists and hear directly from the honoree. 

Eligibility and Criteria 

Eligible nominees will be a public education agency or postsecondary institution. Nominees do not need to be current or former SDP partner organizations. Data and/or analytics must play a role in the story of success. Nominations can be for another organization or your own. 

Types of Strategic Data Excellence  

Strategic Data Excellence uses data to tackle or understand a specific, urgent problem faced by the organization. The data strategy is not just an analytic exercise but a project with real impacts on the ground. In other words, the data should change how things are done for the better.  

Our work spans the education sector, and excellence may appear in different ways. Whether it’s developing an innovative data tool, making a difficult decision in an evidence-based fashion, improving data privacy and governance, or generating high-impact insights that are changing local policy or implementation, we want to hear about it. Learn more about last year’s honoree, the Guilford County Schools Office of Accountability, Research and Planning.

Nominate an Organization