Data-Driven Decision Making

Understanding and Action

What is Data-Driven Decision Making?

  • compiling, reviewing , sharing, and using data to improve schools, particularly student achievement
  • considering what you want to know and why
  • collecting, connecting, creating, and confirming

Why do we fear data?

Data has the capacity to uncover weaknesses and failures, but it may also reveal strengths and successes.

Why data-based decision making?

  • what gets measured and monitored gets improved
  • without data, decisions are based on opinions and hunches

Things to Think About

Multiple Measures of Data

  • discover patterns, practices, and relationships that can be maintained and improved
  • focus on the right thing(s)
  • see strengths and challenges

Asking the right questions

  • What do you want to know?
  • What data do you need to answer the question?
  • What will you do once you know the answer?
  • Be aware that different types of data may be needed.


  • standardized test data
  • formative performance data
  • demographic data
  • attendance data
  • student & teacher observation data
  • perception survey data


  • consider data from various perspectives
  • combine data from various sources (2 and 3 way analyses)
  • state level versus local level use of data
  • guide question development


  • taking action for the greatest impact
  • closing gaps
  • going beyond a strategic plan


  • evaluate and reflect on efforts
  • continuous monitoring of progress
  • potential regrouping or starting over
  • ask questions: Did students learn? How do you know?

everyone plays a role

  • foster a positive climate for teaching and learning
  • model data use
  • be data savvy
  • acknowledge successes and provide support


  • align classroom goals with district goals
  • analyze individual student data
  • collaborate
  • share data with students


  • create person goals
  • monitor progress with help of teachers
PLC Materials on DDDM

San Diego County Office of Education

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Gloria Collier

Chalkable Professional Learning Specialist