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Data helps students and schools

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Dr. Alex Bowers, Associate Professor at Columbia University, enlightens school administrators about what data really matters to educators at the relaunch of the Nassau BOCES Instructional Data Warehouse.

Big data is out there, but the way that school districts access it is changing.  The Nassau BOCES Instructional Data Warehouse (IDW) team has improved navigation, designed dashboards and created new reports. One of the new features for school districts is that they can use a variety of browsers, such as Explorer, Google and Firefox, to access data. The portal page features icons that are links to various features of the IDW including five reports common to everyone in New York state.

"You have the flexibility to interact with the dashboards and look at the data the way you want," said Nassau BOCES Data Analyst Jeff Davis at a presentation to school administrators. "A dashboard will allow users to see data quickly and graphically."

"The IDW is in the business of taking raw data from various sources and turning it into actionable reports and dashboards using cutting edge web-based tools," said Patricia Reinhardt, Senior Manager of the IDW.

The integration of data and its usefulness to educators is what the IDW strives to provide to districts. The reports generated can be downloaded as PDFs or in Excel spreadsheets.  There are new graphing capabilities that include maps and bar charts. Users can move charts, change filters, scroll and more.

New reports for districts will include the Student Score Distribution Report, Two-Year Longitudinal Score Report, Personalized Released Question Report, and Assessments and Attendance Patterns Report.   Data Verification Reports have been streamlined, allowing users to see the results of multiple reports on one dashboard. The new reports will help districts analyze individual results, target areas of strength and weakness, assist in State Reporting needs and improve achievement.

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Nassau BOCES Data Analyst Jeff Davis explains the new features and reports in the Instructional Data Warehouse Dashboard to school administrators.

"Nassau BOCES is committed to providing your data in a format that enables you to ask questions and affect curriculum and instruction to ultimately increase student success," said Jane Boyd, Supervisor of Student Support Services. "As the state requests more and more data, we are looking at ways to give that data back to the districts in a form that helps with decision making to include more predictive analytics."

The integration of data and the usefulness of it to educators is what the new IDW Dashboard is designed to achieve. To help school districts with the new look featuring additional reports and enhancements, the IDW team will offer one-hour presentations to school districts.

Dr. Alex Bowers, Associate Professor at Columbia University, addressed the audience at the IDW relaunch on how data can drive decisions, improve student achievement and reduce dropout rates. He spoke about helping leaders use the data they already have to assist students.