WINSS WINSS: Data Analysis


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You can download all data on WINSS for any specific WINSS data question. Options 1 and 2 provide the most complete sources of both current and historical WINSS raw data. When graphs and tables are updated on WINSS, the download files available under Options 1 and 2 are also updated. Links to these files are provided near the bottom of almost all WINSS data pages.

download links

Option 1. Download raw data on this page. All data shown on the page are included in the download file plus additional related data (e.g. counts and codes) that might be useful for analysis purposes but are not provided on-screen due to space limitations. Option 1 is the most customizable download option because rows in the download file are determined by choices you make above the WINSS graph/table. See CSV file layout below.

Option 2. Download data for all schools and districts statewide. Option 2 was added in late 2011 and is similar to Option 1 except that rows are provided for every district and school statewide and more complete topic data are included in each download file. See "CSV file layout" and "Option 2 Details" below.

Important: Beginning in Fall 2013, WINSS data topics will gradually begin migrating to WISEdash. Comprehensive historical WINSS data about migrated topics for school years not included in WISEdash graphs will be included in WINSS Historical Downloads available through WISEdash. See About WINSS Historical Downloads. For WINSS to WISEdash transition updates, and for information about how to access these download files, see Changes to WINSS and Data Access.

Option 2 details

These statewide files are designed for users wanting a single file containing all the WINSS data about a particular topic or question.

To get started follow these steps:

Step 1. Go to any WINSS data page or, on the "Tips for First-Time Users" webpage, click on a topic of interest to the right of the four main questions.

Step 2. Select the school year of interest from the "Year" options row above the graph. If you do not see the "Year" options, then select any "Compare To" option other than "Prior Years", and the "Year" options row should appear.

step 2


Step 3. Scroll to the bottom of the WINSS data page and click on the link labeled "Download all school and district data statewide."

step 3


Step 4. Click on "Open" to view the CSV file. You can open and view the download file in spreadsheet, data base, or other programs. You can also "Save" the file.

step 4


Please note:

  • 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 or question. You should expect thousands if not tens of thousands of rows in each statewide download file. Some files have more than 50 columns. Do not refresh your browser while waiting for the download.
  • 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. See WISEdash - Frequently Asked Questions for more information about schools included on WINSS.
  • School Types. District data are disaggregated in separate rows by school type (elementary, middle/junior high, etc.) when school data are available for this purpose. Data are disaggregated by school type because data often vary substantially by school type. Users interested in district summary data for all schools combined (regardless of school type) should focus on rows with "summary" in the school_type column of the download file. District data by grade by school type combinations are not included due to the relationship between grade and school type. When district data are disaggregated by grade, only the school type "summary" is available in district rows of the download files.
  • Topics with an Unusually Wide Range of User Options. When feasible, statewide files include topic data columns as if you were able to select multiple options on any given option row. This is to reduce the potential need for multiple downloads. Note that, to obtain all WINSS data for certain questions/topics, multiple downloads may still be required:
    • All Topics with View By Options. For WINSS questions with "View By" options above the graph or table, the statewide file will reflect the student group variable you select (e.g. Race/Ethnicity, Economic Status, etc). Users wanting all student group variables in a single file can download a file for each view by option then combine the files by copying and pasting rows into a single file. This combining task usually takes only minutes since most statewide files for a topic have the same CSV layout.
    • Coursework, Discipline, School-Supported Activities, Money. Statewide files reflect the selected "Show" option above the graph or table: Advanced Placement Program®, CAPP, or International Baccalaureate for coursework data; Suspension or Expulsion for discipline data; Extra/Co-curricular Activites or Community Activities for activities data; and Revenue per Member or Cost per Member for money data.
    • Coursework - Show: Other Courses. Statewide files reflect the selected "Show" and "Subject" options.

CSV file layout

Each row/record of each WINSS download file includes fields or columns of data about a specific education agency, student group, and topic. All files about the same topic have the same layout 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: year, agency_key, agency_type, CESA, county, (athletic) conference_code, district_number, school_number, school_type, charter, district_name, and school_name. Agency_key, district_number, and school_number are assigned by DPI and are available in WINSS files to facilitate joining records across files. CESA, county, and athletic conference codes facilitate aggregation of WINSS data by WINSS users interested in data for a specific CESA, county, or athletic conference. In most files you will see the following agency_types: 03 = Districts, 04 = Public schools within district (includes charter schools other than 4C and 49), 4C = multi-district charter school (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. Some data collections are only at the district level For these collections only district level data are available. Few data collection requirements apply to other types of educational agencies including private schools. Because WINSS combines data across collections, private school data are not reported on WINSS.

Student Group. Student group information varies by topic because its relevance and availability varies by topic. When disaggregated student data are available, the download file reflects the option you select on the "View By" row above WINSS graphs/tables. Grade_label is the grade range of the relevant data collection or a specific grade within that range. All data about students included in each row are limited to students enrolled in the grade or grade range identified by the grade_label regardless of school_type or agency_type.

Topic. Topic information varies by WINSS question or topic within a question. For example, "What percent of students attend school each day?" includes total_fall_enrollment_pk-12, actual_days_of_attendance, possible_days_of_attendance, and attendance_rate. "What percent of students did not advance to the next grade level? " includes total_fall_enrollment_k-12, completed_school_term, number_of_retentions, and retention_rate. All the data included in WINSS graphs and on-screen tables are available in these download files. In addition, counts used in calculation of averages, rates, or percents will be included in these files if left off WINSS graphs/on-screen tables due to lack of space (not for privacy reasons). These are public files so some topic data are suppressed to protect student privacy.


  • 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 instructions.
  • To download fully disaggregated data for any topic, users will need to download a separate file for each View By option. View By options appear above the graph/table whenever disaggregated data are available.
  • Does the file contain more rows/records than you want? You can use Excel to highlight the row containing fieldnames then select Data->Filter-> to view or copy rows of interest.
  • Symbols and acronyms are sometimes used to indicate that data are suppressed to protect privacy (*), data are not applicable or were not collected from specific schools for specific years (NA), or a rate or percent cannot be calculated because the denominator is 0 (-)

Useful Links

WISEdash Download Files (includes links to WINSS historical download files and WISEdash download files for former WINSS topics)
About WINSS Historical Downloads
Using WINSS Data Analysis
Tips for first-time users of the Data Analysis Section
About the Data - Home

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