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  • Alicia Swift

Data = Understanding

The word "data" is defined as "facts and statistics collected together for reference or analysis" according to the Oxford Dictionary. As a Learning Specialist for the Gorge, I work with 12+ organizations to better understand how they are collecting data and what they are doing with said data. While it is easy to collect data, collecting meaningful data and making sense of it takes some finesse.


In July and October, data collection and analysis trainings were offered to the community to increase capacity for organizations to collect and analyze data that would help showcase the impact they are having on the community.


Oregon Health and Science University graciously donated their time to come out to the Gorge and offer two, three hour trainings to approximately 20 people.


From those trainings, community members learned different methods for collecting data as well as ways to analyze the data. Each organization that I work with is addressing a specific need and thus the data sets and analysis they do or are planning to do are unique. With that said, some common ground was found on the fundamentals for planning for data collection and analysis.


Some helpful resources that came from these trainings include:


Link to PowerPoint to help guide data collection: https://drive.google.com/open?id=147kVPydzRhdgeJ0XH4wyOsvUfd5JQmUdZ8HRpKxaj2g


Link to PowerPoint to help guide data analysis: https://drive.google.com/open?id=1XLaghTajOIYhs0dWPtU3TVLWUVIuRVEQ


Both of these resources only skim the surface of the two topics but nonetheless is a great start when thinking about new or existing programs. I am happy to meet with anyone who is interested in planning for program evaluation to set your organization and project up for success!

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