Using data visualization software to tell your story dynamically

Mission-driven organizations use data to show progress, improve processes, and validate how their programs and initiatives are making a difference. There is often a lot of data to sift through and make sense of, such as pre and post program surveys, administrative data, staff focus groups, participant interviews, reflective journaling, photos, etc. To do this efficiently and effectively, organizations can benefit greatly by using data visualization software to create dashboards for their program improvement, reporting and feedback needs.

Dashboards are a curated compilation of data visualizations including charts, tables, graphs and maps. They are an accessible way to understand and communicate trends and patterns.

woman in red long sleeve writing on chalk board

When I met some of my clients, they were manually calculating data and metrics, such as # served, % of goals attained, and % graduated to tell their story of progress.

To get to the relevant data points, they referenced multiple spreadsheets and workbooks full of data. There were often multiple data sources to connect with such as local government databases and organizational case management software.

They would then manually enter the results into reports with a limited number of visuals. Then, each cycle, the process would start again. 

Raise your hand if you can relate! This can be pulled off when you have a small dataset and not a lot of information to analyze. However, many of my clients have increased outreach or added programming which results in much larger amounts of data collected for analysis. It soon becomes too much work to sift through the data manually and pull off regular updates in an efficient amount of time.

Creating an automated dashboard with the relevant metrics will help reduce the amount of human time spent crunching numbers and pulling data. It also significantly reduces data quality issues like duplicated data and incorrect manual calculations. And- bonus- they look nice, too! By using charts, tables, graphs, and maps, the dashboards visually transform the data into a story.

Using powerful data visualization software, I clean, shape and relate any number of datasets to create automated dashboards for my clients’ needs. Now any time programming staff or leadership needs an update or wants to sift through the information on their own, they can simply refresh the dashboard to reflect the most up-to-date information.  

These dashboards are dynamic, meaning you can filter or section the data by categories of your choosing, and drill down to explore the data points deeper.

The dashboards can then be used to create multiple static reports that are relevant to each interest group (by using features such as filters), and emailed or printed on a reoccurring schedule.

Thank you for reading, and as always, I’m only a consultation away!

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