Chapter 1

The Promise and Pitfalls of Data-Driven Decision Making

Data are ubiquitous in our lives. Using the latest technologies, we can now quickly calculate how many steps we took in a day, how many calories we consumed, and how much money we spent and on what. Knowing this information will ideally help us make better decisions that will improve the quality of our lives. Businesses, health and education organizations, and governments can now quickly crunch big data to help them understand phenomena in ways never before possible.1 The power of data use is simple: armed with data, people will make better choices and organizations will function more effectively. This is the thinking behind a hot topic in educational reform: data-driven decision ...

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