Data Quality

The quality of data entered into a system will greatly affect the quality of the output of that data and, as a result, the appropriate use of that data. Although states are very cognizant of the need for accurate and timely data on public education, they face many challenges to consistently collect, integrate, and report high-quality data. Numerous factors contribute to these challenges, such as having outdated or inadequate internal control policies and practices, changing business rules and reporting requirements, limited resources for communication with and training of local education agency (LEA) staff, and inconsistent monitoring and evaluation procedures once data are reported. Data quality is a priority and a concern, not only for state and local education agencies but also for the U.S. Department of Education (ED) Office of State Support as well as for other ED offices serving states’ data needs. All stakeholders who use education data must have confidence in the data or the data become useless.

This community of practice (CoP) will provide participating states an opportunity to share challenges and potential solutions to problems of practice related to data quality. This CoP is an opportunity to dive deeper into issues specific to data quality, which represented one of several topics in the first CoP focused on data systems. States will benefit from specialized technical knowledge from their peers as well as from national subject matter experts and will learn approaches to enhance their collection of high-quality data, increase the accuracy and timeliness of data for reporting, and implement efficient monitoring and validation processes.

Participating SEAs will:

  1. Demonstrate an understanding of common challenges related to ensuring high-quality data collection, organization, and reporting
  2. Determine solutions to apply to common state challenges around ensuring high-quality data collection, organization, and reporting
  3. Identify, design, and customize approaches for improving the quality, organization, and reporting of data in respective states
  4. Identify action steps to implement strategies to improve plans and practices for data collection, organization, and reporting across the system