Data Collection, Analysis, and Reporting
Data Collection: We don't go into a consulting project with pre-set data collection ideas. Instead, we work with clients to develop a data collection plan that is appropriate for them and their stakeholders. Data collection methods are selected to yield the greatest amount of necessary information, while keeping each interaction targeted, practical, and relevant.
Most often, we use a mixed-methods approach, gathering both qualitative and quantitative data. We believe that both types of data are necessary to provide a comprehensive assessment. As well as traditional data collection methods (document review, interviews, focus groups, and surveys), we also use innovative approaches such as bellwether interviews, intense period debriefs, policymaker ratings, and media tracking.
Read more: Unique Data Collection Methods (88KB .pdf) | Intense Period Debrief (136KB .pdf)
Data Analysis and Reporting: For some types of evaluation, an end-of-year report is all that is requested. For others, closer to real-time information is necessary. We take a participatory approach to data analysis when possible, setting up the analysis and reporting of our findings to match the needs and evaluation purpose of each client.
Instead of digesting the data and making recommendations in isolation, we often present the data to an evaluation workgroup of staff and other stakeholders. They see nuances in the data that we, as outsiders, would miss, and let us know if there are certain areas of the data that are of more interest than others. Participatory data analysis ensures that the end result, rather than a report that gathers dust, is a collection of findings and recommendations that can be put to use improving a program.
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