Purpose: Many studies have underlined data use for school improvement. However, these are mainly based on developed countries; studies on data use are still lacking on developing countries. The purpose of this paper is to investigate data use in Indonesian primary schools. This study is based on a conceptual framework focusing on kinds of data, purposes of data use and factors promoting or hindering data use in schools. Design/methodology/approach: The authors employed a mixed-method research design, with a total of 194 teachers and 28 heads of schools from 60 schools participating in the survey. Based on the survey analysis, six schools were purposively sampled for a multiple-case study approach. Findings: The results show that Indonesian primary schools have similar kinds of data available and most data are used for accountability purposes only. These findings might be explained by the government trying to counter-balance the schools’ autonomy, so that the focus of data use seems to be more on accountability than on school development and instructional purposes. The results also reveal that the factors had a different influence for each data use purpose: high data use schools provided insight into promoting factors, while the low data user schools provided an understanding of hindering factors. Originality/value: This study makes a scientific contribution by offering understanding of data use in a different context. Indonesia has become decentralized in most state functions, including education. Therefore, this study can be used as a guideline for future studies of data use in other developing countries context in supporting the decentralization of educational systems.
- Data use
- Data use purposes