Using Data: What We Need to Know

Lucy FriedmanData can power greater learning opportunities. New data tip sheets released for free download by The Wallace Foundation this week show how everyone in the business of expanding learning can use data more effectively to achieve the change we want for kids.

Too much data gets collected, then disappears into a folder. Sometimes the wrong or insufficient data is collected. But this is an area where we can make progress. As Nate Berg writes in The Atlantic Cities blog, “The tip sheets make the case to cities and program providers that having more data about after-school programs will make them easier to run and improve, and therefore more effective as bargaining tools to secure more funding, even when money’s tight.”

After-School Data What Cities Need to KnowHere’s how the foundation describes these resources: “Designed for city agencies, after-school program providers, intermediary organizations, parents and others, these easy-to-use guides zero in on data use for four tasks key to more effective after-school: evaluating program quality, ensuring programs are accountable to funders, mapping program supply and demand, and supporting advocacy. A fifth tip sheet examines data-sharing arrangements that can give decision-makers the information that’s necessary. A sixth sheet offers an overview.”

The tip sheets are designed in part to bolster “systems-building” efforts in cities. You can learn more about those efforts from the Collaborative for Building After-School Systems.

One thought on “Using Data: What We Need to Know

  1. Great blog Lucy! Totally agree with you about data being an extremely powerful tool, and that too much data can often be overwhelming to go through. We are big believers in research and data. These tip sheets provide very valuable information allowing us to gather the information that is necessary from data that has been collected. Thank you Lucy for pointing out this award-winning resource that I am sure people will find useful in their work in after-school programs. I know we will!

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