School officials live in an increasingly data-driven world. Their performance often is measured in numbers: attendance, student performance on standardized tests, budgeting figures, satisfaction surveys, and so on. But many officials are unfamiliar with how to use data properly to assess their performance and support future program decisions.

Here are six tips about how to develop an effective database, from which meaningful data can be culled:

  1. Give each student a unique identification number.
  2. When planning the database, get input from staff and teachers. They know better than you do what types of information will help them do


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