Evaluation Manual

Evaluating Data Use and Continuous Quality Improvement

There is little point in spending the time, resources and energy collecting evaluation data if there is no plan to use the data. This section outlines the analysis, reporting and improvement techniques that are critical for evaluation use and continuous quality improvement.

Section Summary

Primary Sections Section Summary

How do we analyze evaluation data?

Calculation of percentages and means (or averages) can be used in most instances to analyze and summarize quantitative data. To present data in a clear and understandable manner, it is useful to use tables, bar charts, pie charts, line graphs or other types of data-visualization techniques. Qualitative data includes participants' responses to open-ended questions, success stories and observations made by participants. Simple summaries of qualitative data can be developed by identifying and categorizing themes and selecting quotes that describe the common themes.

How do we report our evaluation findings?

The content and format of how the evaluation findings will be reported is contingent upon the audience and the purpose of the evaluation. Evaluation findings can be reported in formal reports, presentations, press releases, newsletters, updates etc., or can be part of informal discussions among stakeholders. Key evaluation findings should be presented in a way that the stakeholders are able to understand and take action easily.

How do we use our evaluation findings?

Evaluation findings can be used for multitude of purposes, including accountability, program improvement, funding requests, communication with stakeholders and marketing. Furthermore, evaluation processes are an important component of continuous quality improvement (CQI). The CQI process is an ongoing process of planning for an intervention, implementing the intervention, evaluating the implementation and effectiveness of the intervention, and acting to make improvements based on the evaluation findings.