Looking at Data in New Ways: Supporting State and Local Staff in Root Cause Analysis Work

As they engaged their local staff in data PLC, HIDOE staff reached out to IDC for consultation about ways to support staff in data and root cause analysis work. Annie Kalama, Director of the HIDOE Exceptional Support Branch said, “It's important for us to look at our data in new ways, instead of asking the same questions, which have not resulted in any new solutions or next steps.”

We started our collaboration by meeting with the HIDOE staff to learn more about the HIDOE team’s current data analysis and use practices and the staff's vision for the support they want to provide to locals in the future. The staff agreed that they want to connect data to decisions, supporting deeper analysis of the data to determine root causes of issues and guide next steps. They also invited us to attend one of the PLC meetings to observe their current process.

HIDOE staff facilitated the PLC meeting with local data users. After attending the meeting, Tony and I started thinking about how we could help HIDOE develop a process that could support data users. Pulling elements from the IDC Data Meeting Toolkit and other resources IDC TA providers have used to support in-depth data analysis, we created a customized template to respond to the state’s request for a holistic process of root cause analysis.

HIDOE staff are usability testing the data analysis process now. Based on their own experience trying out the process as they investigate their SPP/APR indicator data (including supporting data for their SSIP), HIDOE staff and IDC will refine the template for broader use with local staff. Having a common data analysis process will help the state develop a common language and processes for data use and support data-based decisionmaking. The HIDOE team is even considering how they can apply this structured data analysis process in a tiered technical assistance system, as they look for opportunities to align and strengthen their work. We look forward to future work together as HIDOE continues to refine data practices at the state and local levels.

–Heather Reynolds and Tony Ruggiero