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Fulton County Schools Looks to the Future With Advanced Data Governance

Fulton County Schools


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Background

At Fulton County Schools, where students come first, the goal is to prepare all kindergarten to 12th grade students to graduate, ready to pursue and succeed on their chosen paths. Fulton County Schools has nearly 100,000 students and more than 14,000 full-and part-time employees, including more than 7,500 teachers and other certified personnel, across 106 schools and administrative and support buildings. “Fulton County Schools is large and innovative, and our goal is to balance support for student achievement, with being acutely aware of our fiscal responsibility,” says Serena Sacks, CIO for Fulton County Schools. Fulton County Schools (FCS) identified a number of failing schools within the district, and mined data to determine what measures could be taken to better  support the schools. “In order to prevent these failing schools, we set up monthly meetings and offered them a ‘circle of support’,” explains Sacks. “In doing so, we, along with the schools, took ownership of the data and student success, which helped the number of failing schools drop tremendously. For example, we identified several students at the schools who were ready to advance another level in math but didn’t have the resources to do so. We applied for grants so that we could provide wireless hot spots for the kids to get ahead over winter break. Additionally, more kids are taking the SAT, and scores are up 40 points, which is a big deal,” continues Sacks.

Challenge

With a taste for data success, FCS wanted more. In order to achieve their strategic goals,including a goal of zero failing schools by 2022, FCS knew they needed a strong backbone of data governance. “Our IT team didn’t have the time or skillset to explain data governance to the academic side of the school system, so we brought in CCG for outside help,” says Sacks. A data governance council had been in place for several years, but the meetings were time consuming and inefficient, as well as expensive since 25 people were invited each month. CCG helped scale down the committee and put together an actionable roadmap with clear deliverables through its RapidDG solution.

Solution

CCG’s rapid approach to data governance is the most logical starting point for organizations interested in standing up or revitalizing a formal DG program. The initial assessment includes an evaluation of an organization’s readiness for DG, supplemented with a custom-designed, high-level, future state roadmap based on a foundational framework. The deliverables from the initial assessment provide a team with enough information to budget for and implement the most immediate needs for Program Management, Metadata Management, Data Architecture, Data Security & Privacy, and Data Quality. CCG knows how difficult it can be to not only gain leadership support, but to maintain it – especially as it relates to data governance, therefore, we’ve intentionally streamlined the startup process to avoid DG fatigue, which many organizations like FCS have already suffered. CCG believes there is no single “right” way to organize data governance. No two organizations are the same, therefore no two data governance programs should look the same. The structure of a data governance program must be thoughtfully engineered to support and align to an organization’s unique data and content needs. For FCS, CCG identified and established action areas to advance the analytics program and training of academic staff and put a set of standards for data in place, such as entering students’ first and last name, and using a scale of 1-5.

Results

CCG helped refocus the data governance committee, reducing the number of members by 80%, from 25 to five people. “The reorganization was a big win for us,” says Sacks. “Now the committee consists of a lead implementation person, two people from the academics side, and two from the IT side, which is perfect,” continues Sacks. “For us, RapidDG was simple, straight forward, and fast. It was an excellent program for what we needed,” says Sacks.

Fulton County's challenges are not uncommon. Learn how you could benefit from a RapidDG solution by reading our blog: The Importance of Data Governance: Cleaning with a Plan. Want to learn how you can implement RapidDG in your company? Contact Data and Analytics Expert here. 


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Quick Facts

  • Industry - Education
  • Solution - RapidDG
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