Friday, April 6, 2018

Data Visualized at BVSD

What is VizLab?
BVSD has been working for the last two years to create a data warehouse with a tool called Tableau to visualize the data. We call this effort VizLab which has empowered users by bringing together many different types of data to drive instruction in a quick, real-time and easily accessible way. When looked at in isolation, it can be hard to get the full picture of how students are doing, but combined, these data points give us a comprehensive picture of student progress allowing us better support students. Multiple data sets are directly and easily accessible in a new, visually engaging way to the people who can use data to take action and better serve students.
As with all of our data, security is very important, so teachers can only view data for the students they are working with.


Who is using VizLab?
All Administrators and ~60% of teachers have been trained so far! We have a goal of 100% of teachers trained by the end of the school year.

How are teachers using this data? Educators across the district are analyzing student data to reflect on and improve their practice (BVSD Teacher Effectiveness Standard 3, Element b). VizLab supports educators in using data more efficiently.

The data from VizLab has helped teachers target specific interventions to address the achievement gap. While it is powerful to see the data, the real power comes in taking action based on this evidence. Teachers have been using VizLab to get an overview of which students are in need of extra support, look at risk factors for particular students, plan reading groups, and use the data for student support meetings. They have also found it helpful for showing data to parents at conferences and to the students themselves so they can track their progress. Here is how some ELD Teachers from Angevine shared about how VizLab has worked for them:

At the beginning of the year, we really appreciated how thorough the class overview was. Easily being able to see “Years in ELL” for every student in each class in one quick look has been extremely helpful.

As the year progressed we have begun exploring the Early Warning System to target students we need to look at as an MTSS team that may not be drawing attention in class but need extra supports. As an MTSS team, we met to look at the students in red and systematically make sure they were receiving as many supports as possible, and create action plans to further wrap our arms around them.

It has also been extremely valuable to see and share trends for our Emerging Bilinguals ACCESS scores from year to year. VizLab’s easy to understand visual for the ACCESS scores helps us quickly set language goals in mini-conferences with our students, as well as set broader school-wide focuses.

How do you get started using this great data visualization tool?
Check out our website at Teachers can receive initial training through their school or on their own through an online Schoology course.

I’ve already taken the initial VizLab training, what do I do next?
We are currently developing opportunities for “Level 2” Training in the 2018-2019 school year. Additionally, we are putting together a teacher focus group to help shape what is developed next for teachers in VizLab and to better understand ongoing professional development needs. If you are interested, please reach out to Clare Sims at or leave a comment on this blog! Finally, keep an eye on the ISE blog for weekly VizLab tips & tricks.

Will there be data beyond student data in the data warehouse, available through Vizlab? Yes. As the data warehouse matures, additional operational data will likely be added. This may include data from transportation, finance, IT, maintenance, etc.