Education Data 101

Data is one of the most powerful tools to inform, engage, and create opportunities for individuals along their journeys through education and into the workforce.

Here are all the resources you need to understand why education data is a critical tool for supporting individuals, families, educators, and communities.
Third graders discuss possible ways to solve a new math problem.

What is Education Data?

Education data is information about individuals, groups, and entire populations. From course access and attendance to performance data and postsecondary enrollment rates, education data includes any information that can be used to support individuals throughout their education and workforce journeys.

Who Uses Education Data?

Individuals, families, educators, communities, and policymakers need secure access to data to make decisions to meet education and career goals.

What is Responsible Data Use?

All education data collected is regulated by federal and state privacy laws and local policies. Responsible data use is when decisionmakers collect the data they need—and nothing more—and use it to support individuals.

Frequently Asked Questions about Education Data

Our FAQ page dives deeper into questions you may have about education data, why it matters, and how it is and isn’t used.

Education data is any information that can be used to help individuals achieve their education and workforce goals. People often associate education data first with test scores; yet those are just one of the many types of data that support learning. Other examples include student background and demographics, enrollment and attendance, performance and growth, staff and facilities, postsecondary readiness and success, workforce outcomes, and more. Read more about education data here.

Data works for individuals when it empowers them to make decisions about their futures. Key people—like families and educators—also need timely, easy-to-understand information that they can use to support individuals in their decisionmaking. Isolated data points don’t provide a full picture of student learning, but when data comes together—under requirements like privacy and security—it can help people support all individuals to achieve their unique goals.

All states have policies that determine which stakeholders, from teachers to state officials, have access to individual-level data. Usually only those who interact with students, such as teachers and families, are allowed to see personal information. Others can access aggregate, de-identified data that enables them to better develop, implement, and evaluate policies and programs. The federal government does not have—and is legally barred from creating—any database of K–12 student-level data. Read more about who uses education data.

The Data Quality Campaign (DQC) does not collect education data of any kind, including individual-level data. DQC is an advocacy organization that provides policy recommendations and champions policies and practices that make data work for individuals throughout their education and workforce journeys. DQC receives no government funding and is supported entirely by philanthropic grants and contributions. Read more about our work.

Our Work

We envision a world where data is used to drive systemic change, economic mobility, and student success.

About Us

We advocate to change the role of data to ensure that data works for everyone navigating their education and workforce journeys.