The Power $ Efficiency of a Data Warehouse

Does this happen in your school district?
The Scenario
A director of curriculum and instruction asked each school lead teacher to create a Google spreadsheet of student scores. The file needed to contain each student enrolled in the school Grade 3-8 and list last year’s reading, math, and science score information, the EVAAS Projected score, the Check-in percent correct with the subscores for CI #1 and #2, and I-Ready scores and subscores.
This information would be used to help identify students at-risk and to create remediation groups.
The lead teachers started the task and found that it was a very time-consuming task.
The Solution
One lead teacher reached out to me and asked if any of this information was in the district’s new data mart system. Yes, all of the data had been uploaded to the system and was easily put into a spreadsheet report by writing SQL code to pull the data from the tables.
Consequently, WITHIN a few hours each school had reports of all of their students with all of the required data.
Exporting the information from the database saved the lead teachers about 15 hours of work EACH!
Critical Question
Can you collect all of that information on your hundreds /thousands of students as efficiently as a school district with a data warehouse?
A hosted database is the answer. Upload spreadsheets, link the data with student number, wirte simple SQL code using a query tool and run the code and download your spreadsheet with the merged data that your administrators and teachers need.
A databses and attached reporting solution does not need to cost tens of thousands of dollars. It can be done for most school districts for less than $10,000. And Data Smart LLC can provide the training so that the data warehouse can be managed in-house by your school district data stewards.  

Oracle Application Express 20.1 Version Released

Oracle continues to support the ongoing improvement of Application Express (aka APEX). This application building tool is a low-code environment that makes building database-driven applications easier than writing all of the HTML and SQL code from scratch. Also, because it is embedded within the Oracle database, there is no need for add-on reporting tools. This low-code development tool saves hundreds of hours in development time and is very versatile.

For example, NC DPI uses APEX for the development of its EDDIE system.

This new version includes an enhanced search feature for its reports, responsive report widths in its interactive reports, and an expanded library of graphing and charting types.
To see more about its features go to this URL.

Data Smart LLC uses APEX to build custom student reporting systems for school districts. Other applications created include a student performance recording for direct daily measurement (DDM), a team meeting recording system, and a curriculum development tool. Within the “family’ of applications, all data can be combined and accessed for reporting and analysis.

Building a Data Culture in Schools: Data Access is a Critical Component

Building a Data Culture in Schools: Data Access is a Critical Component

There have been hundreds of articles, blog postings and presentations on using data in schools. The information presented focuses on topics such as the inquiry cycle using data, data teams,  and leadership and teacher skills for understanding data. A critical aspect of this data use process is getting the data needed to make informed decisions. Issues surrounding data availability include
1 Access in a secure user-friendly format,
2. timeliness of receiving the data, such as growth data being available which is completed months after         testing is scored and the school year has started in the fall, and
3. access to interpretation protocols.

The first critical issue is having data in a user-friendly format. Many schools provide the printouts from the scoring software with the student scores. This report requires the teacher to look up previous scores and make a comparison to determine if a student did better than the previous year. After all of the testing is completed in the district, the testing office can build spreadsheets of student scores and provide this information to the administrator. However, to be useful, the data needs to be matched to each student’s previous scores to put some sort of context to the information.

Data systems range in size and price to full data warehouse systems. These systems cost over $100,000 and require someone to manage and maintain the system. Another option is a data system for collecting and reporting the data. These systems can be secured at a cost of about $3 to 8 dollar range per ADM. However, these data systems may not be custom created and may not offer the data analysis support a school district may need.

If you would like assistance in selecting or building your own data system, contact Data Smart LLC.