We came across this thoughtful article recently: Data Visibility Can Create Next-Gen Schools.
Reading the title, it's clear that author Thomas Murray and his organization Future Ready Schools share Spotlight's concern that obscure, difficult-to-find or difficult-to-use data results only in inefficiency or even misdirected efforts; as Murray states, "...if leaders have insufficient access and visibility into data, their efforts will be limited. These limitations likely will yield less-effective approaches further up the learning hierarchy."
We see other organizations who share these concerns, and who are doing great work to help school systems address them. Data Quality Campaign is an obvious one; the Michael and Susan Dell Foundation, with its emphasis on the Ed-Fi standard's enablement of interoperability and "data out" is another.
Spotlight addresses this concern a bit differently, by "arming" software with the ability to draw conclusions from data, and to deliver personalized messages, based on those conclusions, in language that an everyday user can readily understand. For example, instead of asking teachers to spend time becoming "data nerds," we seek to deliver insights -- drawn from data -- directly to them. No slicing and dicing required.
While our approaches may differ somewhat, though, it's great to have partners in this important fight!