Like many of you, I stayed up much later than usual last Tuesday evening. I flipped channels searching for (and comparing) each network’s up-to-the-minute election results. While each network displayed the election results slightly differently, one image dominated every network’s coverage: a color-coded map of the United States.
In August of 2016, schools using the edX platform agreed on a common data structure (standards) for their MOOCs in order to facilitate research on student learning and to allow for comparisons of data across schools. Of course, education researchers working with massive data sets are not the only ones who require standardized, well-organized data. With increasing frequency, a wide range of decision-makers — from higher ed administrators to marketing analysts to individual consumers — collect and analyze data in order to help answer a broad spectrum of questions and inform their decisions. These analyses rely on well-organized, and often standardized, data.