There are two primary statewide information system projects currently underway in Wisconsin. The first is WISEdash, a system designed to provide dashboard tools for helping districts analyze their data. All districts are mandated by both the state and federal governments to provide data to DPI for reporting. WISEdash includes a secure data warehouse designed specifically for PK-12 districts to complete reporting requirements in an efficient manner. District data is being loaded into the data warehouse, which is specifically designed to make analysis easy. WISEdash also includes a set of secure tools - data dashboards and reports - that allow educators with data access rights to “drill down” to student level information. This is a feature not available in the primary data tool used in Wisconsin today, WINSS, which will eventually be replaced by WISEdash. Today, only some Wisconsin districts have implemented systems like WISEdash. Barriers to having these analytic tools have included a lack of technical resources and cost. WISEdash eliminates these barriers on behalf of every Wisconsin district, and greatly expands our reporting capabilities.
The other major statewide information system is a student information system (SIS). Presently, there are many different student information systems in operation across the state, which makes it difficult to gather and return data to districts in systems like WINSS or WISEdash. The current multi-system complexity also creates a level of effort that districts cannot afford given limited resources. It is estimated that Wisconsin districts combined spend over $30 million annually to provide data to DPI. Several other states have implemented single systems and their experiences have been favorable. Moving to a single statewide system creates personnel time and financial savings, makes data real-time in linked systems like WISEdash, and addresses the problem of an increasingly mobile student population whose records lag behind as they move from one district to another.