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Data Driven Dialogue

Adapted from

Bruce Wellman & Laura Lipton, by EBP


This framework can be used by Professional Learning Communities (PLCs) and Data Teams as a tool that provides structure to collaboratively analyse various types and levels of data held by schools and school boards.


The 60 minute protocol is a collaborative process where different types of data are analysed. It is a 5 step process including writing questions, distributing and reading data, reporting observations, interpreting observations and extending the focus with conclusions and further questions. Additional questions are included at stage 3 for deeper analysis.

Context For Use

The EBPP uses this protocol in data analysis workshops to support participants through the process of working with data.


  • Knowledge acquisition -Building data literacy; learning to be objective when describing results; applying working methods to practice.
  • Knowledge management -Participants take ownership of the results.



  • The attached protocol can be employed by any level of data users (introductory, novice, advanced).
  • This  strategy helps school teams  become more familiar with handling data.
  • It is necessary to identify the questions that are being addressed and prepare (or gather) the necessary data prior to beginning the protocol.  
  • The protocol should be reviewed at the beginning of the meeting, to ensure all participants are familiar with it.

Find Out More

Data-Driven Dialogue: A Facilitator's Guide to Collaborative Inquiry, Wellman, B. & Lipton, L., 2004.

Using Data/Getting Results: A Practical Guide for School Improvement in Mathematics and Science, Love, N. S., 2001.

Guide for Standard Bearer Schools: Focusing on Causes to Improve Student Achievement, CTAC, 2014.