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Analytics: Harnessing the Power of Data

Analytics: Harnessing the Power of Data

A decade ago, it was easy to find education leaders who dismissed student achievement data as having only limited use for improving schools or school systems. Today, we have come full circle with the education industry broadly embracing data-based decision making and research-based practice.

In 2017, Canvas predicts the education market will adopt analytics-based modeling, using data to make more accurate predictions about performance. They also expect a shift towards big data, where sharing machine data between schools will allow for insights at the industry level, not just the institution level.

But, researchers warn, this enthusiastic embrace of data must not move the industry directly from blind resistance to performance measures with an inflexible reliance on metrics that uses data in a passive way to predict success. Rather, success will depend on how schools harness data for good and turn tests and measures into actionable insights. Being able to alter teaching quickly to address student needs can increase student engagement and motivation, and ultimately, improve results.

And while the concept of big data spells automation for many, the Canvas research team sees teaching staff as holding the key to data success. It will be the teachers, they say, who  emerge as the real heroes of the year ahead by using data wisely to intervene or encourage, and to transform teaching and learning.

(Upgrade Staff, 2017)

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