Five Ways Community Organizations Can Ensure Effective and Responsible Data Use

Organization: Strive Together
Published: January 1, 2015
Data informed decision-making is a central tenet of cradle to career collective impact efforts, neighborhood-based strategies, community schools initiatives, and other outcomes-focused community-based organizations. The ability of community organizations to access student-level data from schools is critical to understanding what is working and what actions are leading to improved outcomes. To ensure student protection and maintain public trust, responsible use of this data must be built into each organization’s DNA. This starts with placing the student at the center, identifying what data is needed, and how to use it in a way that protects and best serves students. Effective practices around the use of data must be embedded in every aspect of the work, and demonstrated by every staff member with data access. Schools have a vested interest in this as well. Sharing data allows schools to better understand which community partners are serving their students and helps to align these partners to meet the overall goals of the school.