Illuminations and Insights

We shine a light on our partners, the work we've done across the country, and insights from our team members.

Photo showing rows of a data center, with superimposed illustrations of keys and locks overlaying the computers.

From datasets to data streams: How we can move the education field away from being data rich but information poor

At EA, we believe that deep integration of education research and technology has the power to create a new breed of modern, data-centric education organizations capable of achieving breakthrough student outcomes. But this integration requires the field of education research to catch up to the advances of modern technology, and the technology field to apply research-grade thinking to how we build and scale technology. In this blog, we propose that to achieve this integration, we need to replace the concept of a dataset with a data stream, and we examine this challenge from the perspective of education researchers and from technologists.
Illustration depicting the five trust principles of SOC2: privacy, security, confidentiality, availability, and processing integrity.

Levels of data security certification: EA's SOC2 journey

This year, EA went through the process of becoming certified in SOC2, which verifies that Education Analytics securely manages our partners’ data to protect student privacy and ensure confidentiality. In this blog, we describe the importance of SOC2 compliance in our work, summarize the steps we took during the SOC2 auditing process, and highlight what’s next for EA when it comes to embracing data security best practices.
A photo of a teacher talking with a group of young students.

Student assets during COVID-19: The role of social-emotional learning and school climate in students’ academic progress during COVID

We analyzed data from K-12 public schools funded by NewSchools Venture Fund to examine longitudinal changes in students’ social-emotional learning (SEL) and school culture/climate (CC) survey measures, along with academic growth. In this blog, we summarize findings of our exploration of whether SEL and CC served as a protective factor against academic learning lag during COVID-19.

Enable Data Union: How we explored and selected a licensing approach to make our codebase open

Enable Data Union (EDU) is our open framework for analytics and data warehousing based on the Ed-Fi data standard. We are excited to be publicly releasing code and documentation for EDU at In this article, we explain our reasoning for choosing to release this code under the PolyForm Noncommercial License. This license allows for noncommercial use, including any use by education agencies, non-profit organizations, and government agencies.
Illustration of three people collaborating together below images of interlocking gears and puzzle pieces being fit together

StartingBlocks and Lego: Building a grounded approach to data modernization

Much like working with Lego blocks, building modern data infrastructure in education requires not just having a vision or set of goals, but also organizing the component pieces in ways aligned to those goals. In this blog, we describe lessons learned from working with districts and states to implement Ed-Fi and discuss how our StartingBlocks product is helping education agencies realize a grounded approach to modernizing education technology.

A collaborative state strategy for SLDS 2.0: A call to action

20 years of technology development and large-scale implementation of Statewide Longitudinal Data Systems (SLDS) have generated a wealth of knowledge, strategies, and successes, which will be invaluable to the next phase of SLDS work. In this blog, EA's CEO Andrew Rice lays out a vision for a collaborative state strategy for the next generation of SLDS that leverages the idea of a reference software build. The blog summarizes the policy and technological trends that have brought us to the field's current state and proposes a collaborative strategy to realize the promise and potential of the next version of SLDS.