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How School Districts Use Data Dashboards

The possibilities are many.

What does one do with all one's data?

The answer to that question, as more governments have begun making data more accessible, has evolved over time. But a fairly consistent move, following the lead of established companies like Socrata and startups like ClearGov, has been to set up a data dashboard.

Though much of the work done in this area has happened at the city, county and state level, school districts have become common data dashboard users as well. Data from the Center for Digital Education’s 2016-17 Digital School Districts Survey, which collected input from districts across the country, showed that 56 percent of respondents used some kind of dashboard. Another 23 percent were in the process of setting up a dashboard. Only 19 percent were using no dashboards at all, and 2 percent did not know.

There was quite a bit of diversity in how those districts were using their dashboards too. Though more than three-quarters of respondents said they were using them for either student performance or other student information, a sizable number of respondents said they were using the dashboards for seven other functions ranging from IT services to financial and budgeting operations.

Ben Miller is the associate editor of data and business for Government Technology. His reporting experience includes breaking news, business, community features and technical subjects. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in journalism from the Reynolds School of Journalism at the University of Nevada, Reno, and lives in Sacramento, Calif.