With technology evolving at the fastest pace in history, the technology director role is becoming more complex. Despite these changes, one thing remains constant, the need for data and analytics. Analytics are powerful because the right information allows school leaders the ability informed, data-driven decisions. As a tech director, you play a big role in providing that data.
Here are 6 tips to help you become a more data-driven K-12 tech director
1. Take Inventory of the Data You Are Currently Collecting
Chances are, you are already collecting data. A lot of it too. Usually the problem isn’t not having data available. The problem is having the right data available and knowing how to use it. Take a good look at the types of data you are collecting now and how it is being used. If your collecting data that isn’t being used, it might be a good time to speak with your superintendent or department directors to see if it’s still necessary to collect and store this information.
2. Assess How Your Data is Currently Being Collected
When you have a lot of data, it can be difficult to keep information organized. If your school district has a lot of data-related paperwork, it may be time to consider switching to an electronic data collection method and take advantage of the technology available. Using a system like Script can help you move toward being a paperless and data-driven tech director.
3. Involve Your School District’s Leadership Team
It’s important to involve school district’s department leaders and superintendent while developing your overall analytics strategy. You’ll need to understand their vision, the metrics they’ve set, and what data you need to collect. Once these are defined, you can then develop a data-driven strategy to help your stakeholders track their progress toward meeting these goals.
4. Focus on Data Security
Data security and privacy is a challenge that school districts of all sizes face. Going electronic is one way to prevent exposing sensitive data as it will limit the chances for school paperwork to get lost or fall into the wrong hands. If you do opt to go electronic, for most, it’s a good idea to look for a cloud-based infrastructure that offers ransomware protect. Script and other systems that offer these key security protections can help minimize your school district’s risk.
5. Involve Your Stakeholders
It’s important to involve department leaders and superintendent in creating a data-driven strategy for your school district. You’ll need to understand their vision, the metrics they’ve set, and what data you need to collect. Once these are defined, you can then develop a data-driven strategy to help your stakeholders track their progress toward meeting these goals.
6. Streamline Your Data Sharing
Providing data to your stakeholders is an important part of your analytics strategy. Often times, your department directors and other leaders won’t need all of the data you collect at one time. Rather than sending entire forms, you should only send the information they need. To clarify, automating your data collection processes with a system like Script, you can create triggered notifications to automatically send relevant information to your stakeholders.
7. Start Small to Make Big Strides
When you are first implementing changes, it’s usually a good idea to start with one small project that provides a quick win to get the momentum going. Take, for example, the transportation department. There are several transportation workflows that could be improved by streamlining the way data is collected and shared. Focus on one specific workflow and performance measure to focus on first.
An example for transportation is bus repairs. First, you would focus on improving data collection and might explore paperless school bus repair order forms. Electronic data collection would help you automate the flow of data and quickly get the right information to the right person. You would then be able to focus on automating data reporting so that real-time metrics are instantly available to the transportation director, superintendent, and anyone else who needs it.
Each small improvement you make contributes to your overall vision and helps you become a more data-driven K-12 tech director. Your quick wins will soon build up as you tackle new challenges and help your department directors and superintend meet their own performance targets.