The EKOEXCEL Situation Room: Unlocking the potential of visual data in education

It is easy to think the world has all the data it could possibly need. Easy, but wrong. Education is a case in point. UNESCO estimates that no data at all exists on the learning levels of two-thirds of African children.

As it points out: “A common obstacle preventing the alignment of a vision with a realistic target is the lack of regularly collected data of good quality on learning outcomes.”

Yet collecting data is only the beginning of the journey towards transforming learning outcomes. It must be tangible, easy to interpret, and solution driven. Recognising this, NewGlobe is working with partner governments to create an immersive visual education data experience.

But, what does that look like – the EKOEXCEL Situation Room, launched on April 13, is an excellent example of a modern solution to visualizing data. It is at the heart of the EKOEXCEL program, the Lagos State Government’s flagship initiative transforming learning outcomes across every one of the State’s public primary schools.

The Situation Room highlights a NewGlobe program called Spotlight, which monitors real-time data, presenting it in a way that is easy to understand and focuses on key education indicators. With this, Lagos State education officials have transparency and oversight of the ongoing transformative educational interventions in EKOEXCEL schools.

Being supported by the NewGlobe model, the program naturally collects large amounts of valuable data. With the Situation Room this is unlocked – assisting the government to make data-informed and targeted decisions that benefit learning.

The launch of the Situation Room was highly anticipated, receiving a lot of positive media coverage, and high-profile education stakeholders attending the event.

Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu engaging with the Spotlight data analysis program
Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu engaging with the Spotlight data analysis program.

At the launch for the Situation Room, Lagos State Commissioner for Education, Folashade Adefisayo said:

“First we collect data online in real-time, as things are happening we are collecting data – we know how many are in school, if there are any problems in schools we are able to track it, so the people going there to solve the problem have a lot of data on their hands; they would know how many children and teachers, whether the head teacher is at school, and whether students are having learning difficulties in a subject.”

An article published in the Harvard Data Science Review highlights the benefits associated with powerful visualization of data, stating:

“Data visualization is useful for data cleaning, exploring data structure, detecting outliers and unusual groups, identifying trends and clusters, spotting local patterns, evaluating modeling output, and presenting results.”

The dashboard displays the data of all 1012 primary schools under the program – with powerful easy-to-understand data visualization, key EKOEXCEL stakeholders, such as the Lagos State Governor, have access to powerful real-time analytics, including:

With the program’s pinpoint geographical features, governments can gain useful insights into what is and is not working for specific areas. For example, if a region is having issues with student attendance or retention, using the Situation Room and Spotlight software, a targeted intervention can be made based on real-time data.

The pay off, an adaptive education system that encourages learning for all.


With these innovative data collection and analysis tools, EKOEXCEL is leading the way in both Nigeria and Sub-Saharan Africa.

A government education system cannot be transformed unless there is data. As Jaime Saavedra, Director of World Bank Education says:

“Quality learning data is essential to implement policies to recover learning losses. Many countries are flying blind. It is urgent to close the data gap.”

Lagos State is committed to aligning vision with learning outcomes, and the pioneering EKOEXCEL Situation Room helps make that reality.

NewGlobe hopes to see the Situation Room rolled out to all supported programs. An interactive replica will be on display at the Education World Forum, on the 7th to 10th May 2023 in London.

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