On Ed-Fi and Data Interoperability

Spotlight takes an innovative approach to turning education data into something that's clear and understandable for "everyday users." There are many key elements to this conversion process, including:

  • Verbalization -- turning numbers into simple, written language (or even into spoken text)
  • Personalization -- ensuring that the "story" told by the data is relevant to the user
  • Aggregation -- breaking down the "silos" that data is so often stored in, and through which it's often presented

This last element, aggregation, is important, but doesn't always come through as readily: Turning data into simple language that's relevant to a user is obvious -- but not terribly helpful if the user must run from one data source to the next. (An obvious real-world example: the parent who wonders, "If she has an A in math, why does the state test have her in the "Basic" range?")

That's why Spotlight is an active member of the Data Interoperability community, largely through Ed-Fi.  That's an organization that's dedicated to helping states, districts, non-profits, and even "vendors" (like Spotlight!) establish a means for our various data systems to "talk to each other." The vision is that data is one day eminently easy to understand and act upon because all those data types -- test scores, and grades, and survey responses, and observation scores, and much more -- are aligned, so that they can be analyzed and used, all towards the end of improving student learning and school operation (and even teacher satisfaction!). 

Spotlight is a proud member of the Ed-Fi community. We look forward to continuing to contribute to and benefit from this exciting movement.