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Data Has Different Purposes for Different People

When data are collected, the data could be used for different purposes by different people. Consider student attendance data:  

For Students
Attendance information might be used to encourage them to attend school regularly or to assign a consequence for missing school.
For Parents
Attendance data could be used to alert parents to their child’s absence from school
For Teachers
Attendance data might inform lesson planning and review of materials.
School Leaders
Might be used to develop programs for groups of students who miss school.
District/LEA Leaders
Might use attendance data to make decisions about school calendars or to partner with community organizations
Fiscal Leaders
Attendance data to report the average daily attendance to the state financing department.
Attendance data is used to make budget decisions.
State of California
Attendance data is used as a measurement of accountability and to fund schools.
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Each of these groups has different purposes for using attendance data, and all of them are important.

Consider the scenarios below and decide which form of data is best for each of the situations. Hover your mouse over each box to see the correct answer. Imagine you were the Data Expert preparing for each of the following situations.  Which form of data would you prepare for each? Hover your mouse over each box to see the correct answer.




Teacher training on benchmark assessment results


Board workshop on student enrollment trends


Board report on State Dashboard results


Cabinet meeting on causes of student behavior


Principal training on causes of absenteeism


Teacher training on state assessment results


Being clear on the audience will help the people who manage, analyze, and report the data in the best possible ways.

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