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Tips for using WISEdash Data Files

Getting Started with WISEdash Data Files

Statewide datasets for data available through the WISEdash Public Portal are available for download.  Rows are provided for all public schools and districts statewide as well as statewide totals. Files also contain additional related data, such as counts, codes, and CESA information that might be useful for analysis purposes.

The pages below are provided to give users more information about the data and dashboards for each topic areas included in WISEdash.

  • Visit the WISEdash Download Page to download statewide datasets from 1993-current year (includes links to WINSS historical downloads)
  • Visit About the Data for more details on each topic included in the downloads
  • View the WISEdash Download Guide (4 page PDF) for a step-by-step introduction to the download files.  
  • View the WISEdash Download Guide video on our Help page.
  • Check the Glossary for definitions.
  • Use the Agency File on the download page for more information (CESA, County, Athletic Conference) about each District/School.  These files could be helpful as you decide what to compare using WISEdash.

Data File Information

  • Reading from left to right, each row/record of each  download file starts with the school year of the data followed by education agency data,  student group data (if relevant),  then topic data. In general, files about the same topic have the same layout across years so they can be combined using spreadsheet software by copying and pasting rows/records.
  • Education Agency. All files have a fixed set of education agency information: AGENCY_TYPE, CESA, COUNTY, DISTRICT_CODE, SCHOOL_CODE, GRADE_GROUP, CHARTER_IND, DISTRICT_NAME, and SCHOOL_NAME.  In most files you will see the following AGENCY_TYPEs: 03=School Districts, 04=Public Schools within districts  (includes charter schools other than 4C and 49), 4C = Public Schools-Multidistrict Charters (s. 118.40(3)(c), Wis. Stats., not chartering authority), and 49 = Nondistrict Charter Schools (s. 118.40(2r), Wis. Stats). These agency types are subject to a wide range of state- and federally-mandated data collection requirements.  CESA and COUNTY fields are included to facilitate aggregation of WISEdash data by users interested in data for a specific CESA or county. DISTRICT_CODE and SCHOOL_CODE are assigned by DPI and are available in the files to facilitate joining records across files and to identify districts and schools without relying on names.  GRADE_GROUP is provided for users interested in summaries or comparisons of data about schools with similar grade ranges.
  • Student Group. Student group information is found in the GROUP_BY and GROUP_BY_VALUE fields.  This information varies by topic because its relevance and availability varies by topic. Most topics include data about grade level placement, race/ethnicity, and gender.  Data are also generally available by economic, disability, English language learner, and migrant status. All topic data about students included in each row are limited to students described by the student group, agency and year information in row.  Data for certain student groups (for example, by gender by grade level combinations) are only available in WISEdash (not in download files).  Any values omitted from GROUP_BY_VALUE indicate a STUDENT_COUNT of 0 for that value.
  • Topic. Topic information varies by topic. For example, attendance includes a count of students enrolled at any time during the school term  as well as  POSSIBLE_DAYS_OF_ATTENDANCE, ACTUAL_DAYS_OF_ATTENDANCE, and ATTENDANCE_RATEs for these students. In some cases topic data may only be available within WISEdash  (not included in download files).
  • Race/Ethnicity. In 2010-11, modifications were made in the collection and reporting of race/ethnicity data. Two new categories were added increasing the number of categories reported from 5 to 7 for almost all WISEdash topics. Although key language used in defining the 5 continuing categories was unchanged, some modifications were made which should be considered when comparing 2010-11 data by race/ethnicity with data for earlier years.  The 7 race/ethnicity categories appear in nearly all 2010-11 WISEdash reports about students (as of 2012-13 WSAS is the exception).
  • Enrollment Counts. Enrollment information is available solely in the Enrollment download files.  In addition, zero counts were added specifically at the main subgroup level in the Enrollment download files starting with the 2017-18 school year.  At this time student enrollment (STUDENTS_ENROLLED) is not supplied in WSAS, ACT and AP files.
  • Enrollment – Private School. Data is available for years 1993-Present. All the files have been migrated from Customer Service Team page to WISEdash Data Files Page. With this migration there are no changes to the data and only the file names have been changed.     
  • Enrollment Second Friday of January (SFS). At this time the student enrollment counts and percents for second Friday of January is not available in the download files.  This information is solely available through the dashboard. 
  • Years to High School Completion. At this time years to high school completion is not available in the download files.  This information is solely available through the dashboard. 
  • High School Completion – Private School. All the files have been migrated from Customer Service Team page to WISEdash Data Files Page. With this migration there are no changes to the data and only the file names have been changed.
  • STUDENT_COUNT vs. GROUP_COUNT.  The GROUP_COUNT is the total count of students in a data group.  The STUDENT_COUNT is the count of students in a specific subgroup.  For example, when reporting counts for WSAS the STUDENT_COUNT will broken up by the proficiency levels (# of students with Advanced, # of students with Basic, etc.) while the GROUP_COUNT will be the student count of all proficiencies combined.  Attendance and Enrollment data files do not have a GROUP_COUNT because data is not reported by categories.  In these cases the STUDENT_COUNT would be the total count of students in the overall data group.
  • GROUP_COUNT in the export files will often be greater than the Group Count in graphs showing average score for statewide assessments. GROUP_COUNT in the export files is inclusive of non test students whereas average score graphs are net of non test students and only include a count of student for which there is a score included in the average.

File Changes Over Time

  • In 2017-18 zero counts were added specifically at the main subgroup level in the Enrollment download files.
  • In 2015-16 the disability code CD - Cognitive Disability changed to ID - Intellectual Disability. The change was applied retroactively in the dashboard. Current Data View files will also be refreshed to reflect the updated code, however, Certified Data View files will remain unchanged. Because of this the code in the Certified Data View files will not match the dashboard for prior years.

File Tips

  • Some spreadsheet software will remove leading zeroes used in joining files. If you want to maintain leading zeros in the agency_key, district_number, school_number, and/or agency_type fields, then refer to software instructions.
  • Each file will contain the following columns:  SCHOOL_YEAR, AGENCY_TYPE, CESA, COUNTY, DISTRICT_CODE, SCHOOL_CODE, GRADE_GROUP, CHARTER_IND, DISTRICT_NAME, and SCHOOL_NAME.
  • To sort rows, open the file using spreadsheet software. Then select Data > Sort to choose sorting options.
  • Does the file contain more rows/records than you want? Highlight the top row containing field names then select Data > Filter.  Next, click the down arrow on the column you would like to filter. You can then choose which data to filter on.  You can sort a column here too!
  • For athletic conference, use the helper files below to determine which districts are grouped into the specific athletic conferences.
  • Unzipped files are in CSV format. You can open and view the download files in spreadsheet, data base, or other software. You can also "Save" the file(s).
  • Each zip file contains a file layout for reference.
  • "All Topics" Files. Includes all files available for a certain topic for that year.
  • Over 400 Districts and Over 2000 Schools. Expect rows for every district and, if school level data are reported, every public school in the state.
  • Big Files. These files are large and may be slow to download. An effort was made to minimize the number of downloads required to obtain all data for any given topic. You should expect thousands if not hundreds of thousands of rows in each CSV file. Some files have more than 50 columns. Do not refresh your browser while waiting for the download.
    • If the big files are opened using excel and the file exceeds more than 1,048,576 rows, users will be warned that the file has exceeded the hard coded limit of 1,048,576 rows or 16,384 columns and will not display the complete data.  
      • To see all of the data or to fix this problem, please follow any one of these methods.
        • First, extract the zip file.  Then open the source file/CSV file with Notepad by following these steps.  1.  Right click on the file and go to 'Open with'. 2.  Next select 'Notepad'.  You may need to select ‘Choose default program’ and 'Browse' if Notepad is not displaying by default. 3.  If the above 2 steps do not work, then try renaming the file extension from .csv to .txt to launch the file in the Notepad editor automatically.    
        • The files can also be opened with Notepad++.  With Notepad++ it will be much faster to open the larger files. If the program name is not showing in the ‘Choose default program’ option, then browse to the installed location to select it. .
        • The CSV files can also be imported into or opened with Microsoft Access. Microsoft Access will display a cleaner table format with proper rows and columns.  
      • Other tips -
        • Microsoft Word can also be used to open the files but the alignment and column visibility might be an issue.
        • There are other editor tools available on the web for free which might be an option if the above tools and methods do not work.
  • *  Symbols and acronyms are sometimes used to indicate that data are suppressed to protect privacy (*).

Filter Tips

Filter Tips-All Files 

  • Statewide summaries.To include only statewide totals select [Statewide] in both DISTRICT_NAME and SCHOOL_NAME.
  • District-level summaries(all school data combined). To include only school district rows, select AGENCY_TYPE = School District. To include school district and district level nondistrict charter rows, select SCHOOL_NAME=[Districtwide].
  • School-level summaries. To include charter and non-charter schools in school districts, select AGENCY_TYPE = Public Schools and Public Schools-Multi District Charter.  To add school-level nondistrict charter rows, select AGENCY_TYPE = Pubic Schools, Public Schools-Multi District Charter, and Nondistrict Charter Schools AND select SCHOOL_NAME <> [Districtwide].
  • Charter summaries.  For school-level rows, select CHARTER_IND=Y and SCHOOL_NAME <> [Districtwide].  For district-level rows, select AGENCY_TYPE=Nondistrict Charter Schools and SCHOOL_NAME = [Districtwide].

Filter Tips-ACT Files 

  • College Ready Count.  To view the college ready count, use the STUDENT_COUNT column.  Filter TEST_RESULT column = “College ready“.
  • Below College Ready Count.  To view the  below college ready count, use the STUDENT_COUNT column.  Filter TEST_RESULT = “Below college ready“.

Filter Tips-WSAS Files 

  • Expected WKCE Test Takers.  To view the students who were expected to take WKCE or WAA use the GROUP_COUNT column.  Filter TEST_GROUP column = “WKCE” or TEST_GROUP column = "WAA-SwD" and GROUP_BY column = “All Students”.
  • WSAS Not Tested Count.  To view the count of students not tested use the STUDENT_COUNT column.  Filter TEST_RESULT column = “No WSAS”.  For WKCE specific not tested counts also filter TEST_GROUP column = "WKCE".  For WAA specific not tested counts filter TEST_GROUP column = "WAA-SwD".
  • WSAS Proficiency Counts.  To view student proficiency count use the STUDENT_COUNT column.  Filter TEST_RESULT column = “Advanced” OR = "Proficient" OR = "Basic" OR = "Minimal Performance".  For WKCE specific counts also filter TEST_GROUP column = "WKCE".  For WAA specific counts filter TEST_GROUP column = "WAA-SwD".

Filter Tips-Column Specific

  • SCHOOL_YEAR:  Select a specific school year based on years available.
  • AGENCY_TYPE:  Select Non District Charter Schools, Public school, Public Schools-Multi District Charter, School District.  blanks=statewide rows
  • CESA:  Select a specific CESA (1-12).  blanks=statewide rows
  • COUNTY:  Select a specific County name.  blanks=statewide rows
  • DISTRICT_CODE:  Select a specific District by code.  0000=statewide rows
  • SCHOOL_CODE:  Select a specific School by code.  blanks=statewide rows or district rows
  • GRADE_GROUP:  Select [All], Combined Elementary/Secondary, Elementary School, High School, Junior High School, Middle School.
  • CHARTER_IND:  Used to select charter schools only.  Select Y or N.  blanks=statewide rows
  • DISTRICT_NAME:  Select a specific District by name.  [Statewide] indicates statewide rows.
  • SCHOOL_NAME:  Select a specific School by name.  [Statewide] indicates statewide rows.  [Districtwide] indicates districtwide rows.
Calculating Rates
Topic Calculation Numerator Denominator
High School Completion

 

HS Completion Rate STUDENT_COUNT COHORT_COUNT
Postsecondary Enrollment

 

Percent of Enrollees  Note:  At this time the percent using HS Completers as the denominator cannot be calculated using the download files. This information is available solely through the dashboard. STUDENT_COUNT GROUP_COUNT
ACT

 

Participation Rate STUDENT_COUNT STUDENT_COUNT for Grade 12 in the Enrollment Data file
ACT

 

College Ready Percent STUDENT_COUNT, filter TEST_RESULT = “College ready “ GROUP_COUNT
ACT

 

Below College Ready Percent STUDENT_COUNT, filter TEST_RESULT = “Below college ready“ GROUP_COUNT
Advanced Placement Exams Participation Rate STUDENT_COUNT STUDENT_COUNT for corresponding grade level in the Enrollment data file
Advanced Placement Exams

 

Percent of Exams with 3 or Above Score EXAMS_3_OR_ABOVE EXAM_COUNT
WSAS Participation Rate STUDENT_COUNT, filter TEST_RESULT <> "No WSAS" GROUP_COUNT
WSAS

 

WSAS Not Tested Percent STUDENT_COUNT, filter TEST_RESULT = “No WSAS” GROUP_COUNT
WSAS

 

WSAS Proficient Proficiency Percent STUDENT_COUNT, filter TEST_RESULT = “Proficient“ GROUP_COUNT
WSAS

 

WSAS Advanced Proficiency Percent STUDENT_COUNT, filter TEST_RESULT = “Advanced“ GROUP_COUNT
WSAS

 

WSAS Basic Proficiency Percent STUDENT_COUNT, filter TEST_RESULT = “Basic“ GROUP_COUNT
WSAS

 

WSAS Minimal Performance Proficiency Percent STUDENT_COUNT, filter TEST_RESULT = “Minimal Performance“ GROUP_COUNT
WSAS

 

WKCE Not Tested Percent STUDENT_COUNT, filter TEST_GROUP = “WKCE”, TEST_RESULT =  “No WSAS” GROUP_COUNT
WSAS

 

WKCE Proficient Proficiency Percent STUDENT_COUNT, filter TEST_RESULT = “Proficient“, TEST_GROUP = “WKCE” GROUP_COUNT
WSAS

 

WKCE Advanced Proficiency Percent STUDENT_COUNT, filter TEST_RESULT = “Advanced“

 

TEST_GROUP = “WKCE”

GROUP_COUNT
WSAS

 

WKCE Basic Proficiency Percent STUDENT_COUNT, filter TEST_RESULT = “Basic“

 

TEST_GROUP = “WKCE”

GROUP_COUNT
WSAS

 

WKCE Minimal Performance Proficiency Percent STUDENT_COUNT, filter TEST_RESULT = “Minimal Performance“

 

TEST_GROUP = “WKCE”

GROUP_COUNT
WSAS

 

WAA Not Tested Percent STUDENT_COUNT, filter TEST_GROUP = “WAA-SwD”, TEST_RESULT =  “No WSAS” GROUP_COUNT
WSAS

 

WAA Proficient Proficiency Percent STUDENT_COUNT, filter TEST_RESULT = “Proficient“, TEST_GROUP = “WAA-SwD” GROUP_COUNT
WSAS

 

WAA Advanced Proficiency Percent STUDENT_COUNT, filter TEST_RESULT = “Advanced“

 

TEST_GROUP = “WAA-SwD”

GROUP_COUNT
WSAS

 

WAA Basic Proficiency Percent STUDENT_COUNT, filter TEST_RESULT = “Basic“

 

TEST_GROUP = “WAA-SwD”

GROUP_COUNT
WSAS

 

WAA Minimal Performance Proficiency Percent STUDENT_COUNT, filter TEST_RESULT = “Minimal Performance“

 

TEST_GROUP = “WAA-SwD”

GROUP_COUNT

Data Errata

Errata are changes that occur after final publication. Errata should be consulted for any dataset downloaded or used in educational research. At DPI, there is a master errata page that contains changes brought to DPI's attention by school districts AFTER the data has been published on WISEdash or WINSS or on another data page at the Department of Public Instruction. 

The corrections are submitted by school districts on letterhead memos in the following process:

  1. A school district is advised by DPI or recognizes that an error exists in the final data that was submitted by school districts after the final publication of the data report.

  2. Districts submit errata on school district letterhead to DPI

  3. Errata PDF is posted to the DPI Data Errata website


Data Disclaimer

The Department of Public Instruction (DPI) has made a reasonable effort to ensure that the attached data/records are up-to-date, accurate, complete, and comprehensive at the time of disclosure. These records reflect data as reported to this agency by the educational community we serve for the reporting period indicated. These records are a true and accurate representation of the data on file at the DPI. Authenticated information is accurate only as of the time of validation and verification. The DPI is not responsible for data that is misinterpreted or altered in any way. Derived conclusions and analyses generated from this data are not to be considered attributable to the DPI. Willful intent to alter and intentional tampering with public records is punishable under s. 946.72, Wis. Stats. Offenses against computer data and programs are punishable under s. 943.70 (2), Wis. Stats.