Data Management - Vision and Guiding Principles


The Wisconsin Department Public Instruction will maintain a comprehensive data management system of data collection and reporting to maximize the efficient collection and use of high quality data to improve the educational success of all Wisconsin students and meet federal and state reporting requirements. DPI data collection and reporting systems must be necessary and useful, protect student privacy, and address long-term capacity to develop and maintain.


Data Collection

  1. Protect privacy in all data collections as required by law.
  2. Account for all students.
  3. Only collect data required to meet state or federal reporting mandates, as a condition of receiving funding under a grant program, or that answer critical questions to improve educational success. Data not required by state or federal mandates, including new data requirements created by proposed DPI grant applications, must be approved by the State Superintendent and meet the following criteria:
    • Resources--the department has the fiscal and human resources and capacity to collect data and report.
    • Maintenance--the department has the capacity to maintain the data collection and reporting over time.
    • Reasonable for Districts--the data is collected in a way that districts have the capacity to comply.
  4. Ensure that data collected is valid (measures what intended to measure), reliable (comparable values in comparable situations across districts and schools), and useful (aligned with WI vision and standards for students, teachers, and school communities).
  5. Design and modify data collection mechanisms to minimize data collection and reporting burdens on school districts and the department over time. This includes data standardization and efficient vertical and horizontal data transfer. Consolidation of collections should always be considered since it usually if not always reduces this burden.

Data Reporting a.k.a. Data Presentation

  1. Protect privacy in all data reporting as required by law.
  2. Plan for data reporting as part of the data collection planning process. Ensure up front that the department has the fiscal and human resources to not only develop but also update and maintain reports and reporting tools.
  3. Design reports that present a clear picture of Wisconsin's vision of success. To the extent feasible, align reports with standards for students (Wisconsin model academic standards and standards of the heart), staff (PI-34), and school communities (characteristics of successful schools).
  4. Design reports that enhance the ability of users to translate reports into action steps towards this vision. Promote the efficient sharing of student data within and across schools over time. Include measures of growth or change and models of success that defy myths. Promote investigation of relationships across topics to provide possible explanations for strengths and needs and action steps.
  5. Create reporting and ad-hoc query tools that maximize access, are user-friendly, and facilitate self-service for DPI and local educators, school communities and the general public. Consolidation and cross-referencing of these tools should always be considered since it usually if not always facilitates access and self-service and saves money.
  6. Connect reporting and query tools with information on data use and interpretation.