As is the case with the development of any program, data required for building and using an IEP facilitation program will need to be housed. Data storage can be accomplished by using an existing data warehouse, or by creating a new structure specific for the program. Ideally, data systems allow for analysis of overall program activities and performance, as well as collecting and tracking case specific data from inquiry to outcome or resolution. Effective data systems allow for easier data collection, case management, reporting, and data analysis.
When developing and/or improving an IEP facilitation program, program leaders must consider the need to create an independent data collection system specific to the program, or whether an existing system can meet the needs of this program. When making this decision, teams should consider:
- What are the critical areas to be tracked within the data system?
- Do the data elements to be tracked within a program vary greatly from what is collected and tracked for other IDEA required systems?
- Does the system allow for easy analysis and reporting? Can the program manager run queries and generate reports as needed?
- Will case management be included in the system?
- Who will have access to the information in the system?
- What permissions will need to be set internally?
- How will information be shared with outside entities (facilitator, LEAs, parents) and is the transmission of personally identifiable information securely sent?
- Begin collecting data from the initiation of the program- Don’t wait!
- Your data system will evolve as your program grows and changes.
- Tracking both program data and case specific data will allow for easy reporting to stakeholders.
- Determine a secure means to collect, share, and store personally identifiable information.