The Data Wise Improvement Process


The Data Wise Improvement Process is an eight-step model that guides teams of educators from schools or systems in working collaboratively to improve teaching and learning through evidence-based analysis. The steps occur in three phases.  The “Prepare” phase involves creating and maintaining a culture in which staff members can collaborate effectively and use data responsibly. In the “Inquire” phase, educators use a wide range of data sources, including test data, student work, and classroom observations, so that they can define a very specific problem of practice that they are committed to solving.  In the “Act” phase, teams articulate how they will learn and employ high-leverage strategies to address their problem, and how they will assess the extent to which the plan improved outcomes they care about.  After educators assess the effectiveness of their actions, they can both identify needed adjustments to their plan and determine the focus for the next cycle of collaborative inquiry. 

The habits of mind that underlie the work include (1) a shared commitment to action, assessment and adjustment, (2) intentional collaboration, and (3) a relentless focus on evidence.

Boudett, K. P., City, E. A., & Murnane, R. J. (Eds.). (2013). Data Wise: a step-by-step guide to using assessment results to improve teaching and learning, Revised and expanded edition. Cambridge, MA: Harvard Education Press.