Great blog post from KDPaine. Her target audience is marketers but she makes salient points for anyone interested in measurement and data analysis. Here she discuss the focus on data rather than action. Her three primary points are -
1. Stop collecting data, start understanding it
2. Stop making lists, start making informed decisions
3. Trusting a computer to get you the right answer is stupid.
What does this mean for educators?
#1Keep your data collection simple and make sure you know what you are looking for so you can use your data to improve your programs or report results.
#2 I am a serious list keeper so this made me laugh! But it is critical to USE your data to help make decisions - and I am not talking about what to offer for lunch at the next workshop. And when you have decisions to make, go back to the information (i.e. data) you have.In Virginia Cooperative Extension our county offices do a situational analysis every five years or so. That's a great source of data - instead of guessing what programs to offer (or not) go back to that community based data.
#3 Dig into that data, what does it mean? Is it really telling you anything about behavior change? Is what the data (or statistian or computer) are telling you making sense?