Dabbling in the Data: A Hands-On Guide to Participatory Data Analysis

This tool provides step-by-step guidance on 15 different approaches, organized into five sections: distribution, change over time, contribution, categories, and communicating findings.

Teams have data, but don’t know what to do with it.

Professionals in mission-driven organizations are increasingly interested in utilizing data to support continuous quality improvement, but few resources are available to help practitioners know what to do. Furthermore, some staff in mission-driven organizations have limited experience working with data, and may even consider themselves “not math people.”

Many quality improvement trainings either ignore data interpretations or offer limited guidance about how to dig into the data. This means that whoever speaks up first sets the agenda for the group—hardly a rigorous or fruitful process.

The Solution: Dabbling in the Data

We present field-tested ways for teams to make meaning of data, including refreshers on key concepts for rigorous analysis techniques.

These collaborative, team-centered activities teach how to analyze data in a meaningful way, engaging the group in rich discussions to interpret the data. More importantly, Dabbling helps teams determine how to respond to what they find.

What people had to say about Dabbling in the Data Training of Trainers

We hosted our first Dabbling in the Data Training of Trainers event in San Francisco to an audience of educators and nonprofit consultants, here’s what they had to say:

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Download a copy of our tool.