Data can tell you who’s coming to your program, what they are learning, what they like and don't like, and much, much more. But making meaning of this data—using it to create impactful, evidence-driven improvement plans—takes time and focus. Ignite Afterschool has a variety of resources that can help.
Making Data Meaningful
Making Meaning with Multiple Data Sets (M3) guides afterschool and summer learning organizations in collecting and using 2-4 data sets to intentionally design and deliver programming, reflect on successes and challenges, and adjust as needed. It is a continuous program improvement cycle that can and should involve youth workers, program managers, volunteers, young people, parents, and other stakeholders. Looking at different types of findings from a program's monitoring and evaluation efforts, and reflecting on the findings from a variety of perspectives puts the power of data in the hands of the people most impacted by it and able to impact it. A key touchstone in the process is the M3 Huddle, a facilitated workshop bringing program teams together to intentionally make meaning of program data and plan action steps for improvements.