Data Driven versus Data Informed

 

Buzzwords in education come and go. One of the more popular buzzwords over the last dozen years that continues to be used is “data driven.”

While participating in interviews of potential teaching candidates a few weeks ago, I heard the term come up over and over again. 

“I’m data driven.”
“I believe in using data to drive instruction.”
“Data should be the basis for decision making.”

As a self-professed Excel geek, I can admit that I love data just as much as the next person, but I prefer a different phrase. 

I like to use the phrase “data-informed.” It shows that we are utilizing data in our decisions, but that they are not solely driven by the data. Data can help to tell part of the story, but there is much more that goes into doing what’s best for students.

Let data inform your decision making, but don’t let it drive your decision making.

 

Rich (@RACzyz)