Google Tips and Tricks

Easily Analyzing Student Data with Google Explore

Google Explore
Written by Diana Benner

Analyzing student data is a critical part of a teacher’s day. With Google Explore, you can save time and get all the information you need to ensure mastery.

Teachers are responsible for monitoring student learning on a regular basis. One way to do this is by analyzing student data, and if you have that data in Google Sheets, you’ll really appreciate how Google Explore makes it so much easier to connect you to your students and their learning.

What Is Google Explore?

Google Explore is a built-in application interface that monitors what you type and responds with related, on-the-fly content. It was introduced in the fall of 2016 and is available for not only Google Sheets, but for Google Docs and Slides as well. You can also find it on Android and now on iOS, too. Think of it as another set of hands (and eyes!) to help you examine student data to better ensure mastery.

Explore in Sheets helps you decipher your data easily, whether you’re new to spreadsheets or are a pro with them. Just ask Explore and get answers about your data. You can ask questions like “Which person has the top score?” This equates to less time spent crunching numbers and more time finding key insights and using them to help your students.

How to Get Answers About Your Data

As you examine how to use Google Explore, use this Example Grade Sheet I created that contains some simple data. You must be logged into your Google account to make a copy of it.

To use Google Explore:

  1.  Open a spreadsheet in Google Sheets.explore_icon
  2. In the bottom right, click the green Explore icon.
  3. Under “Answers,” type your question in the box and press the Enter key. Try asking some of these questions:
    • Which student has the top score on Test 1?” (Note: You must use the fields that exist in your spreadsheet. For example “student” and “test 1”)
    • Which five students have the lowest score on Test 1?
    • What is the average of Assignment 1?
  4.  Google will give you some suggestions to explore as well. To see the suggestions, click on the suggestions under the text box.
    explore_suggestions

See Automatic Chartsexplore_chart

To see automatic charts about your data:

  1. Open the Example Grade Sheet, if you don’t already have it open.
  2. In the bottom right, click Explore and scroll down.
  3. Charts and an analysis will appear showing trends and patterns from the data in your spreadsheet. Hover over a chart to see which data in the spreadsheet is being used in that chart.
  4. The charts can easily be inserted into your sheet by clicking on the insert chart icon or by clicking on the chart and dragging it into your sheet.
  5. Once a chart is added into your spreadsheet, you can use the Advanced edit option from the drop-down menu in the top right of the chart to further edit the chart.

View Even More Analyses

To see more information about a specific portion of your data, try the following:

  1. Open the Example Grade Sheet, if you don’t already have it open.
  2. In the bottom right, click Explore.
  3. Highlight column E and see what happens.
  4. Try highlighting different sets of data as well.

Depend on Google Explore

The next time you need to analyze student data, don’t forget about Google Explore. It’s incredibly helpful, easy-to-use, and will become a tool you can depend upon.

 

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About the author

Diana Benner

Director of Professional Development at TCEA
Diana specializes in leadership development and all things Google. She has served as an instructional technologist, instructional designer, and an online learning specialist, supporting districts all over Texas and in state government.
Diana earned Masters of Education in Educational Technology from Texas State University – San Marcos. She also holds two bachelor’s degrees, one in Spanish and the other in Political Science, from Texas State.

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