1 Comment

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published.

    Is the Evaluation Hurting the Program?

    Updated on: May 16th, 2012
    Data Visualization
    Collage of clipboard, clock, people, calendar and calculator.

    We were extremely fortunate to have past and present Presidents of the American Evaluation Association as our guest speakers at the 2012 Eastern Evaluation Research Society’s conference – Eleanor Chelimsky, Jennifer Greene, and Rodney Hopson.

    Even though the conference was a couple weeks ago, I’m still thinking about one of Rodney Hopson’s comments. He mentioned that sometimes he wonders whether evaluators/the evaluation are actually hurting the program rather than helping it.

    I’ve certainly had similar experiences. Mostly, I’ve seen program staff get so excited about data that they want to collect more, and more, and then even more data. You can read about one of my experiences here.

    This is a great idea at first. What’s the harm? More data is better, right?
    But… a few months down the road, the program staff and I are swimming in more data than we can handle. And, we often have more data than we really need. After all, my goal as a utilization-focused evaluator is to collect information that will directly influence decisions about the program or the participants. Simple, quick, streamlined data can be more useful than complex, time-consuming data.

    Have other evaluators felt like this? Have you ever questioned whether your involvement is hurting rather than helping?

    More about Ann K. Emery
    Ann K. Emery is a sought-after speaker who is determined to get your data out of spreadsheets and into stakeholders’ hands. Each year, she leads more than 100 workshops, webinars, and keynotes for thousands of people around the globe. Her design consultancy also overhauls graphs, publications, and slideshows with the goal of making technical information easier to understand for non-technical audiences.

    1 Comment

      Leave a Reply

      Your email address will not be published.

      You Might Like

      Our complimentary mini course for beginners to dataviz. Takes 45 minutes to complete.

      Enroll

      Change Takes Time: How to Practice Patience in Report Redesign Processes

      Guest author Abby Henderson started to have conversations with her colleagues about how they could change their reporting. She started by suggesting they add more data visualizations and fewer tables. When she met resistance to this idea, she started to produce two versions of the reports. One version included the tables they were accustomed to, and the second version included more elements of data visualization. Through providing both options, Abby was able to slowly garner traction and buy-in on including data visualizations.

      More »

      Inside our flagship dataviz course, you’ll learn software-agnostic skills that can (and should!) be applied to every software program. You’ll customize graphs for your audience, go beyond bar charts, and use accessible colors and text.

      Enroll

      Subscribe

      Not another fluffy newsletter. Get actionable tips, videos and strategies from Ann in your inbox.