Overview

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Welcome to the e-learning lesson on analyzing data and communicating results. By this point you should be familiar with the structure and purpose of an outcome measurement plan and the first two phases of developing an outcome measurement plan which are: identify outcomes and develop performance indicators, and create and implement a data collection plan. The next two phases in the development of your outcome measurement plan are: analyzing your data and communicating the results of your analysis. Data analysis is more than figuring out ways to make beautiful pie charts and other graphics. It is about looking at the information you have collected and asking yourself what it means. Once you have the data, it is up to you to make use of it to inform decisions about your programs. This can be achieved by effectively communicating your results to your audience, which centers around marketing your outcomes to external stakeholders. By the end of this lesson you will be able to recall the types of descriptive and inferential statistics, utilize data analysis strategies when developing an evaluation report, and apply communication strategies to gather support from external stakeholders.

Analyzing data and communicating results is part of the outcome measurement plan.

Although there are many uses for the information generated by outcome measurement, organizations often engage in outcome measurement because they are required to do so. They are asked to be accountable for the use of their grantmakers' funds. This includes foundations and grantmaking organizations such as United Way, as well as local, state, and Federal governments.

Every organization hopes to deliver quality services. Outcome measurement will help you understand whether or not you do. With the information you collect, you can determine which activities to continue and build upon and which you may need to change in order to improve the effectiveness of your program.

Analysis and communication play a critical role in outcome measurement.

Data analysis is a useful component of outcome measurement because it helps you quantify your support and provides a much more compelling message when communicating your investment to stakeholders. Although analyzing data can help you make informed decisions, it is worth noting that data does not substitute for judgment or managerial decision-making.