(Adapted from the Kansas Department of Education Data Project Training Strategy: Metadata and Business Intelligence Tools, Version 1.0.)
This document outlines the training strategies and training timelines for an education agency's metadata and business intelligence (BI) system. This training consists of both metadata and BI content.
Metadata, or "data about data," are crucial to an education data system because they drive the BI system applications, data marts, and interfaces that internal and external data consumers use for reporting, research, analysis, and decisionmaking purposes. The metadata provide data consumers with answers to the following questions:
All users who access data will need instructions on what metadata are and how they can be used to produce meaningful data sets. Consequently, it will be necessary to train stakeholders on both: 1) metadata items so that they understand what data they have and what they mean; and 2) the metadata system so that they can access metadata to answer their business and research questions. The depth, content, and delivery media for this training will be dictated by the needs of the different user groups.
The purpose of this training is to familiarize end users with the concept of metadata, to demonstrate the relationship between metadata and the organization's data, and to teach end users to extract, format, and analyze data through the use of the metadata system applications, interfaces, and ad-hoc queries.
Training content will initially be directed at internal stakeholders and will focus on the data warehouse and its associated metadata. The preliminary list of metadata elements that will be stored in the data warehouse is as follows:
All training courses and materials will be pilot-tested internally prior to general release or use. The initial metadata and business intelligence training courses will include
Most members of the metadata and BI system implementation team will already be familiar with the creation and use of metadata. As a result, this group will be the primary pilot test audience for all metadata and BI system training courses and materials.
Training content for core metadata and BI system team members will include
Delivery platforms for providing metadata and BI system training to the core team include
The training needs of the metadata and BI system core group will be monitored by the Project Director and Project Coordinator. Ongoing training and support will be provided on an as-needed basis.
IT staff and programmers require an overview of the metadata and warehouse in order to ensure the integrity and consistency of their programming code and web applications.
The training for IT and software development staff will include
Delivery platforms for providing metadata training to the IT/programming staff include
Face-to-face refresher seminars will be held periodically throughout the year as needed.
Education agency data stewards have already been trained to create and maintain metadata. However, as the metadata and BI system continue to develop, all data stewards will need to know what metadata are stored in the data warehouse, how to update and manage metadata, how metadata relate to the data and metadata in their source systems, and how metadata can be used for research and reporting.
Training content for data stewards will include
Delivery platforms for providing metadata training to the data stewards include (but are not limited to)
Ongoing support will be provided through the monthly data steward workgroup meetings, periodic refresher presentations, the metadata and BI system webpage, and updated printed materials. Train-the-trainer sessions may be initiated to encourage participants to train their staff on the BI system and metadata.
An everyday example of metadata use can help to explain the concept to stakeholders: A temperature measurement (e.g., 28) is a piece of data, but to correctly interpret it as information requires additional context, or "metadata," which are data about data.
This context is critical to using the piece of data as information. In its absence, 28 could mean 28° Fahrenheit (below freezing) in the middle of a parking lot as the day's high temperature (brr, it is cold). Equally plausible, however, it could mean 28° Celsius (or 82° Fahrenheit) in the shade on a grassy field as the day's low temperature (wow, is it ever a scorcher). This additional information that provides the "context" for understanding what 28 means is an example of metadata, and illustrates why "data about data" are necessary to derive meaning.
Education agency program and support staff will require training on metadata and the BI system applications for research and reporting purposes.
Training content for program and support staff will include
Delivery platforms for providing metadata training to program and support staff include
Ongoing support will be provided through the metadata webpage and printed materials.
Education agency executives will require summary information about metadata and the BI system applications and how they can be used. Intensive hands-on training is not planned for this user group.
Training content for executives will include
Delivery platforms for providing metadata and BI system training to education agency executives include
Ongoing support for education agency executives and administrators will be supplied through printed or emailed status reports and updates. Face-to-face or hands-on training will be available as needed.
School administrators will use the BI system applications to review high-level, summary data (such as their AYP status, QPA status, and general school/district information). Training on the metadata that drive the BI system applications will be embedded in their BI system training.
Training content for school administrators will include
Delivery platforms for metadata and BI system training to school and district administrators include
Ongoing support will be provided through periodic conference calls, Help Desk support and supplemental face-to-face (hands-on) training provided on an as-needed basis throughout the year. Users can also email questions about the BI system applications to a metadata and BI system support email account.
School staff, including teachers, secretaries, and testing coordinators are expected to represent one of the largest populations of stakeholders. These users will rely on the BI system applications and data marts to obtain information about data standards, licensure status, assessment results, and related information. Training on the metadata that drive the BI system applications will be embedded in their BI system training.
Metadata and BI system training content for school staff members will include
Delivery platforms for providing training to school staff members include
Ongoing support for school staff will be supplied through conference presentations, periodic conference calls, Help Desk support, the metadata and BI system webpage, messages and updates on the metadata and BI system listserv, and supplemental handson training provided on an as-needed basis throughout the year. Train-the-trainer sessions may be initiated with this group in an effort to provide guidance as schools train their own staff on the use of the BI system applications.
Members of the general public will eventually be able to use the BI system applications.
No formal courses
Training content for the public will include
Delivery platforms for providing metadata and BI system training to the public include
Ongoing support for the public will be provided through news bulletins and updates posted on the metadata and BI system and education agency web pages.
Implementation of metadata training is dependent upon several tasks, including:
The expected timeline for the metadata and BI system training is as follows:
|Approximate timing||Training/deployment activities|
|Week 1||Metadata system is developed|
|Week 3||Metadata system test plan is completed|
|Weeks 3-9||Development of Metadata 101 and Using the Education Agency Metadata System training materials|
|Week 5||Metadata application in production|
|Week 6||BI solutions and matrix documents completed|
|Week 6||Metadata system initial data load completed|
|Week 7||BI Capability Analysis Document completed|
|Week 8||BI System application(s) selected and ordered|
|Weeks 9-10||Pilot testing of Metadata 101 and Using the Education Agency Metadata System training|
|Weeks 10-12||Updating Metadata 101 and Using the Education Agency Metadata System training materials, based on feedback|
|Weeks 12-20||Implementation of Metadata 101 and Using the Education Agency Metadata System training (internal staff)|
|Weeks 12-20||Development of BI System Applications and Introduction to Metadata and BI System Applications training materials|
|Weeks 16-20||BI System Products delivered and installed|
|Weeks 16-20||Pilot test of BI System Applications and Introduction to Metadata and BI System Applications training|
|Weeks 20-28||Updating of BI System Applications and Introduction to Metadata and BI System Applications training materials|
|Weeks 24-28||Data marts developed|
|Weeks 24-28||Implementation of BI System Applications training (internal)|
|Weeks 29-33||Implementation of Introduction to Metadata and BI System Applications training (external)|
In an effort to ensure that training needs are met and to identify areas for curriculum improvement, quantitative and qualitative training feedback will be elicited from internal and most external participants via paper and electronic evaluation forms. The results of these evaluations will be aggregated by stakeholder group and compiled into summary documents that will be shared with the metadata core team. Adjustments will be made as needed to the training content, delivery mechanisms, and support materials.