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The Uses and Limits of Data: Supporting Data Quality With a Strong Data Chain

This online learning module provides a general overview of how the methods and design of data collection and analysis affect interpretation of the data. The self-paced module presents the different links in the data chain (e.g., defining the question, designing a measurement strategy) and describes how each link contributes to high-quality data and data analyses. The module also includes examples from a selection of Part B and Part C SPP/APR indicators to illustrate how each step in the data chain contributes to the integrity of the data and its interpretation.

This learning module is suitable for anyone who needs an introduction to the concept of data systems. Individuals at the local, state, and federal level who use early intervention and special education indicator data to guide policy, practice, or instructional decisions also will find it helpful.


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  • Resource Image:
    Use of Data
  • Published:
    Oct 1, 2018
  • Authors:
    Dana Manning, Tom Munk, Siobhan Colgan, Debbie Cate, Lee Anne Sulzberger
  • Organizations:
    IDEA Data Center
  • Format:
    Online Applications
  • Version:
  • Topics:
    Part B, Part C
  • Indicators:
    B6 Preschool Settings (ages 3-5), B7 Preschool Skills/Child Outcomes, B9 Disproportionate Representation in Special Education, B10 Disproportionate Representation in Specific Disability Categories, C3 Early Childhood Outcomes, C4 Family Outcomes
  • Suggested Citation:

    Manning, D., Munk, T., Colgan, S., Cate, D., and Sulzberger, L.A. (2018, September). The Uses and Limits of Data: Supporting Data Quality With a Strong Data Chain. IDEA Data Center. Rockville, MD: Westat

For more information about this resource, contact your IDC state liaison.