Visualizing Data to Help Improve Outcomes for Students

Korey Klein

by Korey Klein
Data Operations Director

In early October, more than 370 individuals, representing 60 cradle to career partnerships from across the country, ascended on Minneapolis for StriveTogether’s National Cradle to Career Convening. The three day gathering was full of passionate conversations focused on bettering the lives of children and families by changing the way systems work, sharing accountability for results, and using data to guide decisions. It was impossible to leave without feeling that our mission is possible.

A few weeks prior to the convening, StriveTogether, in partnership with the Tableau Foundation, announced the recipients of their first-ever data analytics fellowship. Fifteen partnerships from StriveTogether Cradle to Career Network were selected to participate in the fellowship, including the Promise Partnerships of Salt Lake! Through this fellowship, our partnership will learn how to more effectively use and visualize data to advance our Collective Impact work, and ultimately, help change the odds for students and families.

School Grades

The day before the StriveTogether convening, I had the exciting opportunity to represent our partnership during the fellowship kick-off meeting. Here, I got to meet with fellow data minds from 14 other partnerships to talk about our hopes for the fellowship and geek out over data visualizations. Over the next eight months, I will be receiving extensive training on Tableau, a business analytics software that allows for the creation of interactive data visualizations.

With this training, I hope to help our partnership:

  1. Dive deeper into the data. We know that looking at data at a high level won’t get us to our goal. We need to disaggregate data, look at trends, and conduct analyses in order to truly know what’s working and what’s not. Tableau is a tool that will allow us to take that deeper dive.
  1. Better communicate around data. Having data-driven conversations becomes a lot easier with clear and consistent visuals at the table. The dissemination of partnership-level results also becomes a lot easier with organized and functional dashboards. Tableau will help us to communicate our data more clearly and better leverage it to make informed decisions.
  1. Close the achievement gap. After all, this is the ultimate goal. It will certainly take more than dashboards and pretty charts to pull this off, but with data as our guide, we will make it happen.

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