By Dennis Li
I’m a data geek. I have spreadsheets for almost everything: planning my wedding, comparing car leases, optimizing where I purchase contact lenses, inventorying items when I travel, etc.
Despite my love of data, two years into working as the data integration and reporting administrator at a public school district, I had grown disenchanted with how student data was being used. When I crisscrossed the district to talk to principals and administrators about their student data, I was often met with fear, confusion, and skepticism. On more than one occasion, I had to reassure and console a principal who thought they would lose their job because of one flat or downward sloping line chart.