New Book: How to Make Data Work

This helpful guide, published by Routledge/Taylor & Francis, provides educational leaders with simple steps for facilitating accurate interpretation of data, while avoiding common errors and pitfalls. How to Make Data Work: A Guide for Educational Leaders provides clear strategies for getting data into workable shape and creating an environment that supports understanding, analysis, and successful use of data, no matter what data system or educational technology tools are in place in your district.

Though written by Dr. Jenny Grant Rankin, the book also features vignettes written by some of the field’s most knowledgeable data users. These expert contributors include:

  • Kris Boneman of Bonita Unified School District
  • Carol Bright of Buena Park School District
  • Dr. Sharon Cordes of Tustin Unified School District
  • George Knights of Newport-Mesa Unified School District
  • Michael Morrison of Laguna Beach Unified School District

I am very grateful for these contributions, as well as for the following experts in the field who offered these endorsements:

  • "This book bridges the divide between research and typical data reporting, showing education leaders practical ways to make data digestible for staff."

- Debra L. Diaz, Former Principal, Charles G. Emery Elementary School

  • "Dr. Rankin's book is a game-changer. This book doesn't just repeat data use strategies we've all heard and tried – it fundamentally simplifies how data use works."

- Gustavo Reyes, School Administrator, Ramón C. Cortines School of Visual and Performing Arts

  • "Finally, someone is talking about the missing piece in data use. I learned most education data is misunderstood, I learned why, and I learned exactly what to do about it."

- Jennifer Kagy, Teacher and Technology Coordinator, Schmitt Elementary School

  • "This work completely changed how colleagues and I look at data. Scores and other data that used to dishearten us are now exciting and easy to understand."

- Julie Duddridge, Lead Teacher and Teacher Mentor/Support Provider, Lincoln Elementary School

  • "The standards we've implemented from this book have helped us create a common language about the data and build capacity throughout the district to ensure the data is used appropriately for making informed decisions that lead to increased student achievement."

- Dr. Margie L. Johnson, Business Intelligence Coordinator, Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools

  • "As someone who worked on data at the school district level on a daily basis for many years, a book like this would have saved me a lot of time."

- Rufus Thompson, Formerly the Technology Coordinator for Mountain View School District in Ontario

This book is available now in paperback, hardcover, and Kindle. I hope those of you who read it enjoy it. Thank you to all who use data to better understand and meet students’ needs, and thank you to all who believe in making data use easier for busy educators.

Note: This book has a companion book written for data system vendors and educators who create their own data reports. Designing Data Reports that Work: A Guide for Creating Data Systems in Schools and Districts will be available in approximately one month.