AEA365 | A Tip-a-Day by and for Evaluators



Finding inspiration from podcast hosts and new formats by Liz Zadnik

Hi there!  I’m Liz Zadnik, member of the aea365 curating team and Saturday contributor.  I don’t know about you, but summer has started here on the East Coast of the United States and I could not be more excited.  I’m ready for some sun and time on the beach!

We all have our vacation rituals – we might bring books with us or some magazines to catch up on.  I personally love podcasts.  To be honest, I probably listen to podcasts more than music – I love how they teach and entertain and help me tap into my creativity.  I thought I would share some of my favorite evaluation-themed (and non-evaluation-themed) podcast episodes to really kick off the summer!

Rad Resource: TED Talks are a perennial favorite – and for good reason!  I found data journalist Mona Chalabi’s recent talk so insightful and practical.  I appreciated how she sought to make data meaningful and reflect the lives of communities – something we strive to do as we work with organizations creating change and generate accessible data visualizations that will resonate with folks.  She asks us to ask three questions – one of which is “Can I [see] myself in the data?”  She uses this question as a way to encourage folks to be mindful of axes labels and breakdowns of data points.

TED Talk Honorable Mention: Giorgia Lupi’s talk on data visualization and representation, “Because data are just a tool we use to represent reality.”

Hot Tip:  In my experience, folks often consider data as separate from them and their realities.  To help navigate this, I’ve talked about data as similar to constellations.  The stars are already there and we care connecting them to tell a story – a story that helps us make sense of our world.  

How have you personalized data so folks can relate and connect?


Rad Resource: Another favorite podcast of mine is NPR’s Invisibilia which explores “the invisible forces that control human behavior – ideas, beliefs, assumptions and emotions.”  I’m currently saving up the most recent Season Three episodes for a work trip, but some of my favorites from earlier seasons explore different solutions to “problems” and ways we are and feel connected to one another.

What’s your favorite podcast?  Do you have a favorite episode that you go back to every now and again?

Do you have questions, concerns, kudos, or content to extend this aea365 contribution? Please add them in the comments section for this post on the aea365 webpage so that we may enrich our community of practice. Would you like to submit an aea365 Tip? Please send a note of interest to . aea365 is sponsored by the American Evaluation Association and provides a Tip-a-Day by and for evaluators.

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