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 to make informed, data-driven decisions. As a tech director, you play a big role in providing that data. Here are six tips to help you become a more data-driven K‑12 tech director.
1. Take Inventory of the Data You Are Currently Collecting
You are already collecting data – a lot of it too. Usually the problem isn’t a lack of data, but 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 the data you’re collecting isn’t being used, it might be a good idea to speak with your superintendent or department director to see if there is any data you can stop collecting so you can focus your efforts elsewhere.
2. Assess Your Data Collection Methods
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 LINQ 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 protection. LINQ and other systems that offer these key security protections can help minimize your school district’s risk.
5. Streamline Your Data Sharing
Providing data to your stakeholders is an important part of your analytics strategy. Oftentimes, 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, by automating your data collection processes, you can create triggered notifications to automatically send relevant information to your stakeholders, helping them stay on track and giving you one less thing to worry about.
6. 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. Choose on one specific workflow and performance measure and focus on it first.
Keeping with the transportation example, let’s look at bus repairs. By improving your data collection processes, you can explore digital repair requests. Automated workflows would allow for a seamless process, quickly getting the right information to the right people, exactly when they need it.
Digital storage then allows automated reporting for real-time metrics which transportation directors can use to monitor the progress of the request from start to finish, providing updates to the superintendent and anyone else who needs them.
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.