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School districts face many of the same concerns as business: how to improve performance, proactively detect problem areas, increase operational efficiency and ensure compliance with external reporting requirements. For school systems, better access to consistent and trusted data would drive better monitoring, decision-making and planning in all these areas. Starting with nearly two dozen, unrelated data sources – some of them just spreadsheets – the data team at Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools in NC created a unified information infrastructure that brings together data from across the district and makes it available to users in interactive, self-service, Web-based reports. This paper summarizes a presentation made by two key leaders of this information overhaul at a Consortium for School Networking (CoSN) conference.
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