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.
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.