Headshot Young Girl

James Wright


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My school now has a successful data dashboard that is being accessed by staff. We also have a data warehouse that can store student data. However, I have realised that many staff still don't understand the principles of data analysis or aggregation. Some are quite confident with Google Sheets, but don't exploit its power for even relatively straightforward things like conditional formatting or pivot tables. Instead, they often manually calculate fields or manually colour cells, leading to both massively increased workloads (diverting time that would be better spent on planning teaching and learning), and making things extremely error prone. Many staff view data as something that is given to them, rather than something that they can take charge of and aggregate and analyse independently. Where staff are attempting this, many spend much more time creating spreadsheets than actually doing the meaningful work to make decisions based on those spreadsheets. Staff also struggle to extract and maintain up-to-date information. This can lead both to risks in terms of data protection, but also to decisions being made due to outdated information. This then leads to frustration and apathy, with staff often abandoning the data altogether when they see several different presentations of data that all have different underlying raw information.