Data Driven: Jamaican Schools Must Use Data To Improve Performance

We started Balcostics with the mission to “empower decision makers with the required data and information to make better decisions”. It’s in this spirit that we highlight a recent presentation by Dr Maurice Smith, principal of the National College for Educational Leadership.

Data in Jamaica schools

At a gathering of principals, vice-principals and education officers across Jamaica, Dr. Smith posited that “When making decisions for everybody, somebody is going to be uncomfortable. Therefore, you have to ensure that you make decisions based on the data you have … . When you are making a decision, look at all the information you have to make that decision. If tomorrow, newer information becomes available that would make you revise the decision you made yesterday, that’s fine, but you can’t make decisions in a vacuum”.

In essence, Dr. Smith is proposing that Jamaican leaders (focusing on his sector – Education) become more data driven. Creating a data culture starts with education and Dr. Smith is on the right path. Several local industries stand to benefit significantly from better data collection, analysis and data driven decision making. As Dr. Smith concluded, “We can’t make decisions based on who we like and who we think is with us or not with us, and perceptions. The information has to be anchored in something,” – that something is ‘information’ created through the systematic collection and analysis of ‘data’.

Across the developed world, the data movement is in full swing. There are conferences, bestselling books (Big Data, Lean Analytics), business articles (“Data Scientist: The Sexiest Job of the 21st Century”), and training courses (Introduction to Data Analysis) on the value of data and how to create a data driven culture. So along with other Data evangelist like Dr. Smith, we will continue to educate and encourage local organizations, companies, SMEs, consultants, students to become more data focus.

Let’s turn Jamaica into a data driven country, where decision makers rely on data rather than feelings to make decisions. Please share if you believe in such a future

At Balcostics our mission is to empower decision makers with the required data and information to make better decisions. Learn more about our full list of research outsourcing services for individuals and companies: Click here

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