Best Practices for Using Postsecondary Outcomes Data

Best Practices for Using Postsecondary Outcomes Data

Promote a responsible data-sharing culture

 

Develop data resources and tools

 

Connect data from multiple sources

Provide ongoing and adaptive support

Establish communities of practice

Promote a Responsible Data-Sharing Culture

  • Build trusted relationships across agencies
  • Demonstrate the benefits of data sharing
  • Maintain ongoing and open communication
  • Collaborate to define and understand data so that shared data is contextualized and used appropriately
  • Develop data-sharing agreements to leverage data that spans departments, agencies, and sectors to illustrate patterns in students’ postsecondary outcomes
  • Report back to agencies involved in data sharing

For more information, see a list of related resources as well as an infographic on the 5 best practices.

Connect Data from Multiple Sources

States with longitudinal data systems can analyze data collections across education levels in one consolidated system. Connecting students’ K-12 and postsecondary data can show what aspects of their education may have contributed to certain postsecondary outcomes.

States that successfully connect data from multiple sources first standardize data according to established rules or conventions. Standardization ensures that data from different sources or in different formats can be compared for meaningful interpretation.

For more information, see a list of related resources as well as an infographic on the 5 best practices.

Develop Data Resources and Tools

Instead of asking stakeholders to translate raw data into meaningful insights, states can develop user-friendly data dashboards and stakeholder-driven reports that support evaluation and decision-making. Data dashboards offer online access to postsecondary outcomes data with customizable data visualizations and reports suitable for statewide analysis and specific insights at the district, school, or postsecondary level. Reports can include graphs, charts, trend lines, data tables, and summaries of the data.

For more information, see a list of related resources as well as an infographic on the 5 best practices.

Provide Ongoing & Adaptive Support to Schools & Districts

Support should be tailored to address the needs and goals of districts, high school counselors, and other stakeholders, and could include

  • increasing access to postsecondary outcomes data;
  • training on how to use data reports and tools;
  • developing tailored reports specific to district needs and requests;
  • offering coaching to analyze and use data to improve pathways for students; and
  • providing grants to improve student learning outcomes and educational efficiency.

For more information, see a list of related resources and infographic.

Establish Communities of Practice

Many states are in the process of developing effective practices for using and sharing postsecondary outcomes data. To support states, QIP is developing the Postsecondary Outcomes Data Community of Practice (CoP) - an online, collaborative group of data practitioners from state agencies who share a commitment to helping stakeholders effectively and responsibly use postsecondary outcomes data. This CoP offers states a platform for collaboration to discuss current and planned uses of postsecondary outcomes data, share resources, address common challenges, identify best practices, showcase successes, and develop new resources.

Stay updated about QIP's Community of Practice by filling out the contact form on the right. Receive information on how to join, which includes access to resources and meetings with other practitioners around how states can best use postsecondary outcomes data from the NSC and other sources. For more information, see a list of related resources as well as an infographic.

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