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K12 School 2017-09-21

How can data management enhance the K12 education ecosystem?

For any school to run successfully, its data management system should be robust and upto date

By Uttara.J. Malhotra Feature writer

In a Harvard Business Review article, ‘Big Data: The Management Revolution’, Andrew McAfree and Erik Brynjolfsson aptly say “You can’t manage what you can’t measure”.

The quote is actually illustrating the great importance that lies behind a recent explosion in digital data gathering. It is a need of the hour and the education sector is gradually making sensible use of this powerful tool. Indeed, it is because of big data that today, we can measure, (and know), radically more about our workplaces and directly translate that knowledge into improved decision making and performance.

This has greatly impacted the K12 Data Management requirements as well.

Data Driven Environment
Research has proved that data-driven organisations are showing signs of better profitability than those without the same. Today, there is an urgent need of such systems in place that can make data analysis, collation and management at schools easy and seamless.

We might continue to bemoan the fact that schools have become more of businesses; yet there is no denying that they are all functioning on huge budgets and therefore it is impossible to avoid the growing importance of data management at every level.

Thomas Redman, the author of Data Driven: Profiting from Your Most Important Business Asset says, “The essence of data-driven is making better decisions up and down the organization chart.” Thus, it has been observed that data-driven organisations make better decisions; of which many can then be made more easily at lower levels of the organization. This allows the senior management team to only focus on the most important decisions. Time management becomes better and desired outcomes are achieved quickly.

For schools, a good data management system takes care of the aspects like organisational development, recruitment and record keeping, inductions, professional learning and career management, community engagement programmes, marketing needs, ICT systems and risk management, time and also resource management.

Schools- Learning Takeaways

Adaptive Learning
A major breakthrough in data management has been the advantage of adaptive learning where a teacher can make use of intelligent tools that can help adjust the pace of instruction based on each student's interests, abilities and prior knowledge.

On the basis of big data collated, a teacher makes use of the adaptive learning tools and caters to the different learning pace and ability of each student.

Specific reports generation
Data management systems can easily make use of large amounts of data that can easily create a data analysis report of each child. Here, the teacher can pinpoint the areas where a child is excelling or where more work is required to help a child excel, and back those claims with data, parents will be able to get a clearer picture of their child's progress.

Different advancement pathways
Owing to the fact that there is maybe some more gifted than the others, with proper data analysis, gifted children with special attributes can be easily spotted and helped to go to the next level of learning irrespective of age.

Easy functioning of School
Undeniably, schools that make use of good and robust data management systems, are able to function far more efficiently than the rest of the lot. No wonder, the big data advantage benefits schools at the organisational level. Besides better time management, big data can help in improving the management of logistics, business operations and human resources. Therefore, big data can help bring forth insights which can lead to better and more informed decisions in the K-12 sector and improve the lives of all stakeholders.

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