Categories
data analysis quantitative data

Excel Pivot Tables and Charts

In an effort to explore and better understand different sets of data from several evaluation projects, I finally was moved to learn about the functionality of PivotTables and PivotCharts inside of Microsoft Excel.

Having reviewed many comments for a number of YouTube videos, I selected and watched the following four. Their combined 60 minutes provided a great overview, basic understanding of structuring and using pivot tables, creating pivot charts, and assembling various pivot charts to create a dynamic dashboard able to provide insightful observations of your Excel data. I hope you find them useful and look forward to your feedback.

After viewing these and working with your own project data, use the “Discuss on Twitter” button below to share any other resources you’ve found helpful in your path to learning and using pilot tables, pivot charts, and data slicers.

In this first video, you’ll get a great overview of pivot tables by Kevin Stratvert.
In this second video, you’ll engage in the first of a series of 3 videos by Jon Acampora.
In this third video, you’ll engage in the second of a series of 3 videos by Jon Acampora.
In this fourth video, you’ll engage in the third of a series of 3 videos by Jon Acampora.
Categories
data analysis dissemination

Data vs. Information

In a recent technical assistance online meeting, I was talking with several community groups about various data collection and analysis related to their program implementation and intended outcomes. I raised the importance of sifting through all the various data in order to extract actionable information useful for the program staff, community stakeholders, and intended beneficiaries of the program. I was reminded of a past blog post from Seth Godin that I shared with them. Quite succinctly, he reminds us about the importance of disseminating evaluation findings that can both be understood and story-like.

When there’s simply data, it’s all noise. It’s impossible for a human being to absorb data without a narrative.

Once we figure out how to turn your features and ideas and benefits and effort into a story, though, it becomes information. And then we can act on it.

We have a story problem. All of us do. We’re not doing a good job of developing the empathy to turn all the data we’ve assembled into a story that others can understand.

https://seths.blog/2020/03/the-difference-between-data-and-information/
Categories
evaluation design programs

Programming and Domains of Evaluation Questions

In Developing Monitoring and Evaluation Frameworks, Markiewicz and Patrick (2016) laid out the relationship of program development and implementation to five domains of evaluation questions. In doing so, they’ve contributed to the discussion in the previous post about what evaluation is for. At the very least, drilling down the domains of evaluation questions alter the types of program decisions to be considered and answered.

The following table, adapted from their work, summarizes the five domains of evaluation questions aligned to five program components.

Program Component Domains of Evaluation Questions Description of Domains
Planning and designAssessing the appropriateness of the program’s design-Suitability of program design in context
-Fit of program with program theory and/or logic
-Testing of underlying assumptions
-Extent program meets the priorities and needs of key stakeholders
Objectives Assessing program effectiveness in meeting it’s objectives, its value, and quality – Fidelity of implementation
-Achievement of program objectives
-Assessment of the quality and value of the program
ImplementationExamining efficiency and fidelity in program implementation-Conversion of inputs to outputs and outputs to results
-Governance and management
ResultsEstablishing impact: intended and unintended, and the degree to which change is attributable to the program-Changes (results) produced by the program, intended and unintended, direct and indirect
Sustainability of resultsIdentifying ongoing sustainable benefits from the program-Continuation of program benefits
Categories
evaluation

Why Evaluation?

In a recent blog post published during the AEA 2019 Conference, Cameron Norman, initiated a list of things that evaluation is for. Recalling this list was helpful during a recent family gathering when I was asked about work. Rather than focus on the means of evaluation, I found myself talking more about the ends of evaluation which coincided with many of the things on his list shared below. Evaluation is for…

  • Decision making
  • Seeing the future
  • Design and innovation
  • Asking better questions
  • Creating conversation
  • Speaking truth to power
  • Honoring our work
  • Learning
  • Leading system change
  • Telling stories about who we are as a people
  • Promoting health and preventing harm
  • Reinforcing democratic ideals
  • Provoking curiosity
  • Recognizing humanity

Make sure to check out Cameron’s blog post that elaborates on each of these.