Part 3: Reflecting on Data

Using evaluation findings for decision making


How can we use data for planning purposes? Ideally, program staff will have structured opportunities to look at evaluation data from their own program sites, and to generate practice plans based on that data. This section focuses on the use of data for improvement, and effective approaches to analyzing and reporting data.

Using Evaluation Findings for Decision Making

How can we use data for planning purposes? Ideally, program staff will have structured opportunities to look at evaluation data from their own program sites, and to generate practice plans based on that data. This section focuses on the use of data for improvement, and effective approaches to analyzing and reporting data.

Data Use Foundational Principles

The following are key to the use of data for continuous improvement:

  • A culture of inquiry
  • Staff engagement across all levels
  • Mechanisms for organizing, sharing, and reflecting on data
  • Realistic and incremental goals
  • Inclusion of key stakeholders in data sharing and review[1]

Using Data along the QuEST Continuum

If you have collected data along the Quality-Engagement-Skills-Transfer (QuEST) continuum, how will you use that data in your work? Here are some suggestions:

  • Quality data is typically used in the context of a continuous improvement process (the YPQI).
  • Data on engagement allows programs to be immediately responsive to the needs of those they serve; by understanding how young people experience programs
  • Skills and beliefs data can be used to identify areas of strength and need in the young people your program serves, and to make and refine program plans to further develop key strengths.
  • Data on transfer outcomes is most applicable for programs whose work aligns directly to those outcomes. In a general sense, transfer data can provide a feedback loop to programs on the longer-term impact of their work.

The data protocols in this section are adaptable to all of these types of data.

Communicating about Data

Different audiences have different needs when it comes to data. Think about who needs to know what, and when and how they need to know it, when reporting on evaluation results. This section provides tools for effectively reporting on evaluation results, and planning tools to help you communicate those results to different audiences.

Resources:

[1] Rosenberg, H. (2013). Embracing the Use of Data for Continuous Program Improvement. Family Involvement Network of Educators (FINE) Newsletter, 5(3). Retrieved from http://www.hfrp.org/publications-resources/browse-our-publications/embracing-the-use-of-datafor-continuous-program-improvement