Solving the Data Rich Information Poor (DRIP) Problem

Posted by Mandy GroenO

January 2, 2020

School districts are increasingly suffering from the DRIP problem: when educators have plenty of student data, but don’t have the right tools to make it actionable.

Today’s complex digital landscape is all about finding, collecting, sharing, and leveraging data. The idea is that if you have enough information about the population you’re serving then you’ll be better positioned to offer them what they need. For the most part, this is true: studies have shown that 57 percent of consumers will happily offer up personal data in exchange for more curated experiences. The only problem with this strategy is that decision makers often find themselves with a lot of data points and not enough practical insights.

When you have a surplus of data but don’t know how to use it, or can’t break it down into actionable intel, you’re “data rich and information poor” (DRIP). The term DRIP was coined in 1983 in a business context, but DRIP has leaked into all sectors, including education. School administrators are especially susceptible to the DRIP problem because they must embrace a culture of data in order to serve their communities, but they don’t always have the tools to use this data effectively.

Fortunately, with the right guidance and resources, educators can channel student data into insights that drive continuous improvement. Here’s how Hoonuit can help:

How the DRIP Problem Impacts Student Outcomes

To see the real implications of the DRIP problem, consider one of the most common challenges educators face — measuring student performance. Many educators lean heavily on assessments as indicators of a student’s progress or lack thereof. However, testing data alone only accounts for one part of the complex and multi-faceted student experience.

What do educators really learn from a deluge of state assessments, benchmarks, departmental tests, and classroom exams? These results show where a student’s progress is/was at the time of testing, but they don’t indicate how the student got there, where they’re going, or what they need in order to succeed. Behind the numbers, there could be issues with attendance, language, socioeconomic status, and more. The DRIP problem prevents educators and school administrators from turning data into actionable insights, and, as a result, a student might slip through the cracks.

How Does Hoonuit Address the DRIP Problem?

At Hoonuit, we’re committed to helping school administrators become rich in both data and insights. Every solution in our suite comes equipped with Integrated Actions capabilities that make it easier to turn raw data into practical information, effectively tackling the DRIP problem on multiple fronts.

If a school administrator does their due diligence and collects student data across a variety of metrics, they might find themselves with a lot of reference points spread across disparate technologies. Hoonuit’s dashboards consolidate key information — such as grade distribution, attendance, and demographics — in one place so that educators can have the most relevant information at a glance. This feature also visually represents data and categorizes it under a targeted question. Curious about what percentage of students grew, maintained, or slid in math in between ELA testing periods? Just refer to one of our intuitive graphs that enable you to create groupings and drill down to individual student data with a single click.

If there’s a single question that characterizes the DRIP problem, it’s “what do we do now?” At Hoonuit, we understand how important it is for educators to have a plan for the future, so we’ve devoted an entire integration to figuring out what comes next. Our “What To Do” features nip the DRIP problem in the bud by offering next steps based on the student data provided, which empowers educators to make more informed decisions.

Finally, Hoonuit’s Integrated Actions can also handle any intervention management challenges caused by the DRIP problem. In a school district that’s data rich but information poor, a student might find themselves left behind because educators don’t have the resources to look beyond numbers and see what the data is really saying about their performance. Our workflow combines data management, student progress monitoring, and intervention management in one tool to drive student success in a more proactive way.

Without the right tools to channel it, too much data can be overwhelming, which is why we have invested in making our solution a one-stop shop that gives educators everything they need to conquer the DRIP problem and use data to do what they do best — empower their students.

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