NEW BOOK: Designing Data Reports that Work

How to Make Data Reports that Work: A Guide for Creating Data Systems in Schools and Districts, published by Routledge/Taylor & Francis, provides research-based guidance to anyone who designs data visualization, data reports, or data systems to be used by educators or education stakeholders. Readers might be educators (such as those who extract data from a data system to produce data displays to be read by others), educational technology vendors (who provide data systems or data reports to educator clients), or other organizations that support educators with data. Those providing high stakes data in other fields can also benefit.


This helpful guide offers clear examples and explanations for how to best present data in ways that actively facilitate accurate interpretation of data, helping educators to avoid common errors and pitfalls. The book provides clear strategies for getting data into workable shape that supports understanding, analysis, and successful use of data so data becomes easy to use (and so that other efforts to improve data use – such as effective data use climate and professional development – are not undermined by cumbersome data presentation). The book is a companion to How to Make Data Work: A Guide for Educational Leaders, which supports educators leading data use at their schools or districts, but reading either book alone is effective.


Though written by Dr. Jenny Grant Rankin, the book also features vignettes written by some of the field’s most knowledgeable data experts in the field of education. These expert contributors include:



I am very grateful for these contributions, as well as for the following expert endorsements:


"Too often working with education data is a solo and DIY effort. Dr. Rankin has synthesized best practices from hundreds of experts in the field to provide a go-to resource."

- Leo Bialis-White, Vice President of Impact, Schoolzilla


"Dr. Rankin's pragmatic approach to data systems and reporting design will shorten your engineering cycles and put relevant, usable data in the hands of your customers. This book is a must-read for anyone who wants to go beyond data warehousing and create something that can truly raise the game of teachers and the students they teach."

-Rudi Lewis, Chief Operating Officer, Silverback Learning Solutions


"The standards covered in this book revolutionized our edtech data system and data reports. This book is the leading source for anyone who wants to share education data effectively."

- Lane D. Rankin, CEO/President/Founder, Illuminate Education


"As someone who worked on data at the school district level on a daily basis for many years, a book like this would have saved me a lot of time."

- Rufus Thompson, Illuminate Education and Formerly the Technology Coordinator for Mountain View School District, Ontario, California


"This book is comprehensive, thoughtful, specific, and ahead of its time when it comes to data-driven instruction best practices. Anyone who follows these standards is certainly on a path to achieve successful outcomes."

- Ryan Winter, President, LinkIt!


This book is available now in paperback, hardcover, and Kindle. I hope those of you who read it enjoy it. Thank you to all who provide research-based data displays to help educators better understand and meet students’ needs, and thank you to all who believe in making data use easier for busy educators.


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