I’m Susan Kistler, the American Evaluation Association’s Executive Director Emeritus and aea365’s regular Saturday contributor. After over three years, this is my last day as your ongoing Saturday author. I’ll be moving to once a month for at least the near future. The other Saturdays will be filled by Sheila Robinson, our intrepid aea365 curator, Stephanie Evergreen, in her role as AEA’s Potent Presentations Initiative (p2i) coordinator, and others from AEA’s new staff team. I am excited to see so many people invested in aea365.
Data Visualization and Reporting (DVR) is near and dear to my heart. The very first post that I wrote for aea365 was on Data Visualization back on January 2, 2010. I am honored that I get to complete up my weekly run by wrapping up the Data Visualization and Reporting week.
Rad Resource – Sarah Rand’s Previous Posts: Earlier this week, Ann Emery included Sarah Rand in her DataViz Hall of Fame. Sarah is part of a team that is breaking new ground, pushing into online reporting and infographic use for research and evaluation. Sarah has written two previous posts for aea365:
- Sarah Rand on Online Evaluation Reports
- Sarah Rand on Using Visual.ly’s Marketplace Service for Infographics
Rad Resource – Interview with Sarah Rand: As I explored the online report from Sarah’s team, I wanted to learn more about what it took to produce such a report as well as the drivers behind, and the benefits or drawbacks of, their innovations in reporting. In March of 2013, I interviewed Sarah. The Take 5 Tech video below provides a very brief overview of the report and then a five minute summary of lessons from Sarah.
Lessons Learned: For me, three things stood out from Sarah’s interview:
- The composition of the evaluation team may need to adapt to incorporate designers and programmers in order to move into new reporting formats.
- There is a need for more knowledge about, and perhaps more tools themselves, for assessing the impact of new reporting formats.
- For this group, innovations in reporting have drawn attention to their findings and also to their firm as well, including securing additional grant funding based.
Get Involved: I would like to expand this project into a short series focused on innovators and innovation in data visualization and reporting, in particular for evaluation. This week has given me some great ideas, but if you know of evaluators who are doing leading edge work in this area that you would recommend. please share via the comments on the aea365 blog.
aea365 is sponsored by the American Evaluation Association and provides a Tip-a-Day by and for evaluators. AEA is celebrating Data Visualization and Reporting Week. The contributions all this week to aea365 come from members of AEA’s Data Visualization and Reporting Topical Interest Group. 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.
2 thoughts on “Susan Kistler on Learning From DVR Innovation”
Thank you Susan for your article it is very interesting. I am currently at graduate student at Queens’ University, Canada. My course is about program evaluation and Inquiry. My comment to you is part of an assignment.
It is very important to present the output of the evaluation in an engaging matter. Evaluator needs to encourage program community members to collaborate, engage, and reflect in order to frame evaluation outputs in away to satisfy their needs and build individual and organization learning. The way evaluation output is presented will affect the use later on. The evaluator should work on engaging everyone in the evaluation process and the findings.
The evaluator can control the level of engagement of program recipients and stockholder by using different practices. Reports are considered a distractive practices which gain low engagement. Seminars, presentations are considered presentational practices allow moderate, engagement. The best practice is the interactional practices which causes high rate of engagement (Saunders,2012).
Data Visualization and Reporting (DVR) is tool that allow interactional practices in a simple, accessible, and interesting. It helps to reach boarder audiences and provide enjoyable experience to them. I like Sarah’s project how she attracted the attention to her university which will attract more funding for her project.
The challenge in conducting evaluation in an interactive practice is the needed support of the evaluation team members and the funding from the investors. Some team members will prefer to stay in their comfort zone and produce simple reports. Stockholders should be persuaded with the various benefits of interactive practices in order to gain their support.
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