Evaluation 2015: Exemplary Evaluations in a Multicultural World

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Four Creative Ways to Use Dashboards that You Might Not Have Thought Of

Session Number: DVR2
Track: Data Visualization and Reporting
Session Type: Multipaper
Session Chair: Jessica Aungst Weitzel [Via Evaluation]
Discussant: Chris Lysy [Westat]
Presenter 1: Edward Patrick Cortez [Claremont Graduate University]
Presenter 2: Vikram Koundinya [University of Wisconsin-Extension]
Presenter 3: Joao Martinho [Fundacao Maria Cecilia Souto Vidigal]
Presentation 1 Additional Author: Matthew Swope
Presentation 2 Additional Author: Jenna Klink [University of Wisconsin - Extension]
Presentation 2 Additional Author: Emily McKinney [University of Wisconsin-Extension]
Time: Nov 14, 2015 (08:00 AM - 09:30 AM)
Room: Columbus IJ

Abstract 1 Title: Evaluative Dashboarding in a Decentralized Organization
Presentation Abstract 1: Across many organizations, there is an increasing need and importance of a methodology to track the progress of its initiatives. This paper will highlight the experience of a leadership development lab consortium in its commission to develop a dashboard to track progress of its many labs' initiatives and leaving all aspects of development to the discretion of the internal evaluation lab. Approaching dashboard development as an evaluative exercise, a collaborative, participatory approach was taken to incorporate stakeholders' feedback from a variety of labs to ensure that useful and actionable metrics could be created. This, in addition to leading toward novel visualizations, also serves toward other evaluation-related endeavors such as helping the organization develop a logic model, and make itself more conducive to other evaluation capacity building efforts. This will be a comprehensive outlining of the design, implementation, and revisionary processes of dashboard development intended to fit multiple contexts.
Abstract 2 Title: How to Increase the Chance that Your Stakeholders Will Care about Evaluation Data
Presentation Abstract 2: The Evaluation Unit at the Environmental Resources Center (ERC) of the University of Wisconsin (UW)-Madison and UW-Extension provides evaluation services to various environmental, natural resources, agricultural, community and economic development projects. The projects require periodic evaluation to measure progress and make any needed changes. As standard evaluation reports often tend to be lengthy, busy stakeholders may not always have the time or interest to fully read and implement evaluation recommendations. Creating innovative, visually stimulating and short evaluation briefs in addition to the standard reports is necessary to make sure various stakeholders are up to date with the evaluation results and are providing the needed feedback for the successful implementation of projects. Such evaluation briefs can also be used as marketing tools to keep projects running or extended as funders are made aware of the positives being achieved. The ERC Evaluation Unit designed short evaluation briefs (one- and two-pagers) to report the most important outcomes on a monthly or otherwise appropriate basis. These evaluation briefs utilize a combination of various visual and text formats and depict the progress on the essential variables in a succinct and captivating way. All the important stakeholders have found them to be a useful way of keeping them updated on the project progress. This presentation shares examples of the evaluation briefs that were used in multiple projects, how they were designed and utilized, and considerations for other evaluators in creating their own.
Abstract 3 Title: Meaningful Data Visualization—A Midterm Evaluation of Dataviz use
Presentation Abstract 3: Evaluators have increasingly been talking about the need to communicate evaluation findings more efficiently in order to foster its use. This has been widely discussed in the literature and evaluation conferences and led to the creation of the dynamic group about Data Visualization and Reporting in the AEA, for example.
But as the use of data visualization techniques broadens, it becomes necessary to discuss how they are being used and whether they show exactly what is intended. Few evaluators are designers and, because not always designers fully understand the data collected, although the visualization they create may be beautiful, it might not be the best way to represent it and may even induce misinterpretation.
In this paper, we'll talk about the differences between statistical graphics and data and information visualization; and how evaluators, even those who never knew how to draw, may and should lead the communication and design process.
Audience Level: None

Session Abstract: 

Four Creative Ways to Use Dashboards that You Might Not Have Thought Of

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