Dabbling in the data

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The guide and toolkit, Dabbling in the Data, includes detailed instructions for teams to use to delve more deeply into quantitative and qualitative data.

Designed for those who may be reluctant to dig into data to inform their planning process, Dabbling with Data offers a variety of activities that can be combined to lead teams through meaningful conversations about how to turn data to action.

This resource and the following information was contributed by Corey Newhouse.

Authors and their affiliation

Public Profit

Key features of Dabbling in the data

The Dabbling in the Data guidebook provides step-by-step instructions for fifteen different team-based data interpretation exercises. Ranging from very simple to more complex, the activities can be used alone or in combination to engage teams in rigorous conversation about data and its implications for action.

How have you used or intend on using this resource?

We use the activities in Dabbling to engage teams in conversations about their data, with an eye toward moving from "let's think about this" to "let's act on this." The activities are particularly effective for non-technical audiences or those who are reluctant to engage with evaluation results.

We also train facilitators and evaluators on the Dabbling methods so that they might incorporate hands-on data interpretation activities into their own work.

Why would you recommend it to other people?

Evaluators want their results to be perceived as useful - and to motivate improvement. Too often, however, teams struggle to engage with the results in a way that leads to action. The Dabbling activities provide a way for teams to make meaning of data in an participatory, engaging way.


Public Profit (2016). Dabbling in the Data. Retrieved from: https://www.publicprofit.net/Dabbling-In-The-Data-A-Hands-On-Guide-To-Participatory-Data-Analysis

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