Creating Data Dashboards

Goals for Session

Participants will:

  • Understand the types and uses of data dashboards.
  • Create building blocks that can be used in creating data dashboards.

Note: This was conceptualized as a two-hour workshop; however, you can modify the timeline to meet the needs of the audience.

Materials Needed:

  • Sample Building Block tool
  • Examples of dashboards





  1. Say a few sentences about what data dashboards are used for. Emphasize the idea that they are used to display data; the data that they will display should provide a window into something that is very important to the school.
  2. Ask participants how they might come up with the data points to be displayed (elicit: in a school or faculty planning process; based on important goals).
  3. Introduce the idea of Building Blocks. Show examples.

20 Minutes

Work Time 


  1. Group people by school teams; if school groups are not present, group people by role (e.g. math teachers, counselors, etc.)
  2. Have them identify major goals (hypothetical or real) that a school would be concerned with.
  3. Have them pick out indicators that can be used in creating Building Blocks for a data dashboard. They should ideally be:
    1. Quantifiable,
    2. Easy to find,
    3. Measured now [baseline] and later [check ins], and
    4. A good indicator of progress toward the goal.
  4. Allow the groups time to create at least two Building Blocks.
  5. Ask each group to share one of their Building Blocks. Feedback should be given using the four criteria in #3 above.
  6. Show how each might be used in a dashboard using the three dashboard types.

45 Minutes

  1. Direct groups to begin to plan for school improvement based on their exploration of the focus area. Participants should define a problem within their focus area (based on their exploration) and should consider contributing factors and data sources that either confirm or disconfirm these factors as being related to the problem. Participants should continue to utilize their school data to complete the tool.

30 Minutes

  1. The facilitator should direct groups to create a goal statement based on the problem and their contributing factors. School teams should plan strategies that they will use to attain their goals and map out indicators for success for both the goals and the strategies.

15 Minutes



  1. The facilitator should discuss the need to make discussion of data dashboards a part of the regular meeting schedule at the school.
  2. Finally, debrief the process with entire group and address questions and areas of concern.

10 Minutes

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