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Drowning in Data?  Questions for Effective Data Dives

TXTS 4 Teachers

Drowning in Data? Questions for Effective Data Dives

Kimberly St Clair


With a plethora of student data sources at our fingertips, it is easy to feel as if we are drowning in data.  Developing data questions prior to data analysis sessions sets the stage for purposeful, focused, productive data review.  Moreover, creating data questions helps maintain clear focus throughout the data analysis process.

When crafting data questions, consider why the data was collected and what you want to walk away knowing about your students after you are finished analyzing the data.   Keep in mind, you can have more than one data question for each data analysis session.  Most of the time, you will have one or two guiding questions.  Here are some examples of data questions:

Examples of summative data analysis questions:

  • Are students on track for meeting the end of year benchmarks?

  • What are our students’ strengths and weaknesses in the area of __________?

  • Which standards do students need additional support with?

Examples of formative data analysis questions:

  • What misconceptions do students have?

  • Are students correctly using the identified skill/strategy?

  • Which skills and strategies need to be retaught?

  •  What strategies are high achieving students using?

 Of course, your data questions will be unique to your context and the specific type of data you are collecting.   Whether looking at data individually, or with a team, try framing your next data dive with a data question!