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Data Literacy

The Louis Riel School Division (LRSD) is committed to using data to inform decision-making and monitor progress. We realize that using data involves a growth mindset and a solid grounding in data ethics as much as it involves proper tools and processes. 

LRSD's Data Literacy Initiative was originally launched in the spring of 2019. This important initiative involves four commitments. On behalf of the students and communities we serve, we strive to be:

  1. Data informed 
  2. Data ready 
  3. Data literate 
  4. Ethical data stewards

Being data informed starts by asking ourselves, what are we tracking? What do we need to know and do? We use data to monitor who we are and how we are doing. Decisions are made based on evidence rather than hunches. This evidence-based, data-driven approach increases confidence in our decisions about what to continue doing and what to try next. 
Being data ready involves identifying the tools and resources needed. It means working toward having the right data in the right hands at the right time and in the right (optimized) format. Making data available starts with digitizing data collection, but it involves an endless dedication to data reliability and creating data flow efficiencies. Importantly, we are also continuously striving toward optimizing data reports so they are accurate, immediate, visually engaging, intuitive to use, and easy to understand. 
As we build those tools, we are simultaneously working toward building data literacy across our system. We will know we are successful when we establish the following knowledge, skills, and dispositions: 

  • Understanding a report's purpose and content; reliability/validity; inquiry cycles & planning templates 
  • Demonstrating skills to access & navigate data & reports; read & interpret tables & graphs; lead inquiry cycles & manage related group dynamics 
  • Showing a growth mindset and commitment to continuous improvement; valuing research & evidence-based action

Finally, and equally important, as ethical data stewards, we consistently strive toward using data to help rather than harm, as a flashlight rather than a hammer. Using data ethically improves trust and strives for the most positive impact possible. We are always mindful of the need for openness and transparency, but considerate of data privacy, and forthright about data limitations. 


Our Primary Data Tool

One valuable tool serving LRSD's data literacy journey is Power BI, an analytics application by Microsoft. Power BI allows users to create a visual display of data (Data Dashboards) and helps individuals easily interact with data while quickly gaining insights. School leaders and teachers across our division can access Power BI reports to help inform their work. LRSD also publishes many public dashboards to help keep the community informed about enrolment, diversity, student attendance, staff attendance, and key performance indicators related to our Multi-Year Strategic Plan.