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Transforming the use of data in education to improve student achievement

About Being a Partner

Since 2008, the Strategic Data Project has worked with 75 partners, including city and county school districts, state education agencies, charter management organizations, and nonprofits. SDP engages with our partners to increase their analytical capacity, provide high-quality data analytics to address organizational challenges, and enable the organization to better use data and evidence to make policy and management decisions.

SDP engages collaboratively with each of these partner agencies, relying on them to lead the way and show how data-driven decision making can impact student achievement in the long term. These pioneering organizations, committed to culture change and continuous improvement, partner with SDP by hosting or enrolling fellow(s) through the SDP Fellowship program or by collaborating with us on analytic projects such as the SDP Diagnostics.


SDP partners should expect to experience many of the following benefits:

  • Increased analytic capacity
  • Better understanding of organization’s performance in key areas
  • Clearer priorities and plans for strengthening data systems and ensuring policy-relevant data is easy to access
  • New, efficient approaches to using data to support ongoing decisions
  • Evidence of value of data-driven decision making
  • Progress in building a culture of data use across the organization
  • Access to a network of national education leaders sharing best practices and cutting-edge research
  • Enhanced organizational willingness and capacity to use data-driven decision making to improve student outcomes

IMPACT: Fulton County Schools, Georgia

SDP partner Fulton County Schools (GA), collaborated with SDP to examine district college-going rates. This research uncovered a discrepancy between the numbers of high school seniors who indicated on graduation surveys that they intended to go to college and those who actually attended in the fall. As a result of this discovery, the SDP team and fellows in Fulton County collaborated with the district guidance counselors to develop Summer PACE—Personalized Assistance for College Enrollment—a targeted intervention delivered to low-income seniors over the summer after graduation. PACE had a substantial impact on rates of on-time college matriculation, particularly for low-income students, for whom the outreach and support improved timely college enrollment by eight percentage points. 

To learn more about the sustained impact of an SDP partnership on a system’s data use and the resulting improvements in student outcomes, purchase the Fulton County Case Study (Harvard Educational Press).

We now have a slow, methodological approach to changing the culture to be [that of] data-driven strategy. Through our partnership with SDP and the work that we’ve accomplished, we’ve learned that telling the story with objective data makes it easier to believe.

– Robert Avossa, Former Chief Accountability Officer, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools (NC)
Patty Diaz