This email would be appropriate for an educator leader to send a data system/report provider to advocate for the Over-the-Counter Data Package/Display Standards.


Dear Data System/Report Provider,


I noticed our district’s data system and reports do not adhere to the Over-the-Counter Data Package/Display Standards that stipulate research-based ways to provide credibility, key features, and strong design within education data reports, as well as effective navigation and input controls. Adherence to these Package/Display standards is necessary to best support educators’ easy use and thorough understanding of reports’ data. Consider:


  • A data system’s report design, if done correctly, can free teachers from the need to be assessment literate and instead allow them to focus on instruction and students (Hattie, 2010).
  • Data reports designed for educators are frequently not designed in ways that are easy to interpret (VanWinkle, Vezzu, & Zapata-Rivera, 2011).
  • Providing a data system designed specifically for users’ needs is more effective than expecting training to get users as prepared as they need to be to use the system and its data (Underwood, Zapata-Rivera, & VanWinkle, 2008).


Please attune our data system/reports to adhere to the research-based Over-the-Counter Data Package/Display Standards. These resources can help you:


  • Over-the-Counter Data Standards are available at (the Package/Display standards are on pages 7-12, followed by a paper with related research).
  • Read the book How to Make Data Easy: A Guide for Edtech Providers to Improve Data Tools & Support so Data Becomes Easy to Use, by Dr. Jenny Grant Rankin. This guide explains how to implement each reporting standard within a data system/reports (offering specific examples, before and after illustrations, etc.).


Thank you very much for your time and assistance. Adhering to these standards will offer tremendous help to educators and students.


- Me


Hattie, J. (2010). Visibly learning from reports: The validity of score reports. Online Educational Research Journal. Retrieved from

Underwood, J. S., Zapata-Rivera, D., & VanWinkle, W. (2008) Growing Pains: Teachers Using and Learning to Use IDMS®. ETS Research Memorandum. RM-08-07. Princeton, NJ: ETS.

VanWinkle, W., Vezzu, M., & Zapata-Rivera, D. (2011). Question-based reports for policymakers (ETS Research Memorandum No. RM-11-16). Princeton, NJ: ETS.