What is Responsible Data Use?

Data is a valuable tool that should be used to help, and never to harm, individuals. 

Using data responsibly is more than just adhering to data privacy and security laws, leaders must create a culture in which data is trusted and used ethically to support individuals. 


How Leaders Can Support Responsible Data Use

  • Communicate clearly about your values and goals for data use; data should always serve a clear purpose.
  • Engage community stakeholders in crafting policies and practices that require data collection and use, especially stakeholders who are directly affected.
  • Center privacy in the design of data policies and practices.
  • Be transparent about how data is used and protected to build trust with the public and communities you are serving.
  • Train people to use data. Ensure everyone who uses data has the ability to use data effectively and ethically.
An undergraduate student from UCLA meets with high school students in an AP research class at UCLA Community School.

Related Resources

Learn more about how to support responsible data use.

Safeguarding student data is more than just a box checking exercise—it’s a foundational part of effective data use.
When school and district administrators are empowered to lead a culture of data use, students do better. As states focus on improving overall school quality and ensuring success for all students, they need a workforce of school and district administrators who are equipped to use data to continuously improve. State leaders are uniquely positioned to align policies and programs that train and support school and district administrators. This paper provides a picture of what administrator data literacy looks like in action and how state policymakers can support it.
With voices at all levels of the education system—from parents to school administrators to state education chiefs—the Data Quality Campaign has led a national coalition in developing the Student Data Principles to guide the education community in supporting student learning through effective education data use and safeguarding students’ personal information.
Teachers can improve their practice--and student outcomes--when they understand how to use data effectively and ethically. This brief for state policymakers offers a proposed definition of data literacy along with recommendations for state and federal policymakers.

Responsible Data Use in the News

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.