Closing the Gap: Turning SIS/LMS Data into Action

Education Community Attitudes Toward SIS/LMS Solutions Implementation and Selection Approaches Toward SIS/LMS Solutions
Washington, DC
Friday, February 3, 2012


WASHINGTON, DC (February 3, 2012) – In collaboration with the American Association of School Administrators (AASA) and the Consortium for School Networking (CoSN), Gartner, Inc. has released the first two reports from the Closing the Gap: Turning Data into Action program, titled:

  • Education Community Attitudes Toward SIS/LMS Solutions
  • Implementation and Selection Approaches Toward SIS/LMS Solutions

Gartner, Inc. requested input from a broad group of educators, including district leaders, school leaders, technology/IT leaders and teachers in the U.S. K-12 education community, on how data housed in student information systems (SIS) and learning management systems (LMS) can be used to improve teaching and learning.  Each report provides key findings and next steps for the K-12 education and vendor communities to consider.

“One of the tenets of any planning activity is to ‘begin with the end in mind.’ The Gartner surveys and reports compiled through the Closing the Gap program funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation will provide valuable information that will enable successful planning, implementation, and adoption of SIS and LMS.  In addition, these reports will illustrate that continued focus and progress are needed to ensure that insights from the data captured in these transactional systems facilitate individualized and customized student engagement,” said Irma Fabular, Sr. Managing Partner and North America Education Industry Lead, Gartner, Inc.

Gartner uncovered the following key findings from the Education Community Attitudes Toward SIS/LMS Solutions report:

  • District leaders, school leaders and teachers agree that existing SIS and LMS solutions do not fully meet the needs of the U.S. K-12 education community, and the current educational culture presents barriers to increased data and solution usage, and ultimately, student learning.
  • On the other hand, district leaders, school leaders and teachers disagree on their satisfaction with the solutions and training. 

These findings suggest that the education community should take steps to improve how the analysis of data from SIS/LMS solutions can improve classroom practice and student learning.

Examples of key findings uncovered from the Implementation and Selection Approaches Toward SIS/LMS Solutions report include:

  • Districts do not emphasize the use of data in the classroom as a part of the selection and implementation processes.
  • Teachers are not fully utilizing the scope of functionality acquired during LMS implementations.
  • With some exceptions, districts report being on budget with respect to their SIS and LMS projects.

Gartner will continue to explore these findings with individual school districts to get a better understanding of their experience using data in the classroom to achieve desired education results and identify recommended best practices with respect to using technology in support of these goals.  Gartner is also aggregating information on SIS and LMS vendor product and service offerings. 

“Data-driven instruction is key to the success of students in today’s schools,” said AASA executive director Daniel Domenech.  “The findings in these reports will provide critical help to school leaders everywhere as they struggle to identify and implement the right technology in cost-effective ways.”

“Effective use of school district data systems to strengthen classroom instruction requires that educators across the district are actively involved in the process.  The role of technology leaders is increasingly to work horizontally with district decision makers and ensure that all stakeholders are engaged,” said CoSN CEO Keith Krueger.

CoSN has created a website – – to serve as a repository for the project reports and provide the K-12 education leaders opportunities to participate in online communities of practice to support the use of project resources to strengthen classroom instruction.  This website, project reports and resources are free to the K-12 educational community in support of educational leaders and teachers looking for help in moving their districts forward.  

Closing the Gap is funded through the generous support of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.


About AASA
The American Association of School Administrators, founded in 1865, is the professional organization for more than 13,000 educational leaders in the United States and throughout the world. AASA’s mission is to support and develop effective school system leaders who are dedicated to the highest quality public education for all children. For more information, visit  Follow AASA on Twitter at or on Facebook at

About CoSN

CoSN is the premier professional association for school, district, and educational service agency technology leaders. CoSN’s members are a unique blend of education and technology leaders and decision makers from the public and private sectors. The mission of CoSN is to empower educational leaders to leverage technology to realize engaging learning environments.
CoSN provides leadership, community, and advocacy essential for the success of these leaders. Visit or phone 866.267.8747 to find out more about CoSN’s Leadership Initiatives, annual conference and events, policy and advocacy, membership, and resources supporting and promoting leadership development to ensure that technology is used strategically for the improvement of teaching and learning in elementary and secondary schools.

About Gartner, Inc.

Gartner, Inc. (NYSE: IT) is the world's leading information technology research and advisory company. Gartner delivers the technology-related insight necessary for its clients to make the right decisions, every day. From CIOs and senior IT leaders in corporations and government agencies, to business leaders in high-tech and telecom enterprises and professional services firms, to technology investors, Gartner is a valuable partner to 60,000 clients in 11,500 distinct organizations. Through the resources of Gartner Research, Gartner Executive Programs, Gartner Consulting and Gartner Events, Gartner works with every client to research, analyze and interpret the business of IT within the context of their individual role. Gartner has extensive experience assisting K-12 and higher education organizations address opportunities and business challenges utilizing information technology.  Founded in 1979, Gartner is headquartered in Stamford, Connecticut, U.S.A., and has 4,600 associates, including 1,250 research analysts and consultants, and clients in 80 countries. For more information, visit

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