I really believe that efficient data analysis that takes the minimum amount of time helps everyone.
It always depresses me when the calculator comes out for working out averages on a set of data.
Yet there is such a focus on getting the data right, that sometimes double-checking it all can take over. Yes, the system might be inefficient, but it works and gets the right answers… Our children deserve better than that. The skilled teachers in our schools are there for doing skilled teaching: they shouldn’t be wasting their time on inefficient processes.
And here is where I make my admission: I use inefficient processes. I am comfortable with spreadsheets, so I use them – I do all my number crunching and contextual analysis in spreadsheets. Yet I have a super-powerful management information system in school. I know that it could do all the number crunching I need and more. But I’m not comfortable with it. One day, I will grow up. I just know it. And on that day, I will understand databases and be able to use them to make data work even better for my in school.
But for now I’ll have to be content with my countifs and my vlookups.
I’m speaking at #WeTweetEd at BETT this Thursday. Come along and contribute to the discussion on using data as best as we possibly can.