Data Overload? NEW Data Use Standards Are Here To Help!

New Year, New Focus… DATA!

Chris Thompson, SEEC Data Support Coordinator

The holidays are over and we are off and running into 2017! 2016 was definitely a year of growth and change for the SEEC as it transitioned to become its own fiscal agent, made some new hires (and had to say goodbye to others L), and participated in an AdvancED Accreditation visit for the first time.

Needless to say, amidst all of these changes we hope to use what we have learned to continuously improve on what we do (that’s nothing new). One of the aspects we have set out to improve upon over the upcoming year is our communication and use of DATA. As a result, we are incorporating a data-focused column in our newsletter (this is new!). Each month we will provide you with updates on data resources, tips, and insights to help you be a better user of data.

Feeling like you have data overload?

Data, to say the least, can come in many different forms and used in a multitude of different ways. With so much data being collected in education, it is understandable how people can feel overloaded or confused about what is being collected, when, and about whom. These confusions can lead to the use of inaccurate or misrepresentative data to make decisions (and we DO NOT want that, EVER).

Help is out there! It’s time to ease the confusion.

Fortunately, in 2015 a national group of experts from state and local education agencies, regional service agencies, postsecondary institutions, and state educational data systems proposed a set of Data Use Standards to help ease this confusion and ensure data is being collected, analyzed, and used effectively.

The Data Use Standards include 58 standards identifying specific knowledge, skills, and professional behaviors for effective data utilization. Furthermore, this group (including myself) has drafted a NEW version (released December 2016) of these standards with applications for teachers, school and district leadership, and data leads. Please use these guides to help ensure you are using data correctly and to the best of your abilities.

Want to see these standards put to the test?

The Data Use Standards website is available now – so get out there and dig in! It also includes real-world examples of applications of these standards in various educational settings.

To access the full list of Data Use Standards and these other resources please follow this link:

If you have any questions, please contact me at (701) 446-3194 or

Share your feedback