Using Visual Communication to Increase Evaluation Utilization

This blog post from Nate Wilairat for Evergreen Data provides a range of tips for increasing evaluation utilization through the use of visual communication.  Based on the lessons learned from producing effective executive summaries the post particularly highlights the use of annotated dashboards and matrices.


“A utilization-focused executive summary needs to provide the right information to the right decision-maker. Following Michael Quinn Patton’s utilization-focused evaluation process, the first step is to identify the primary intended users of the evaluation. Different users demand different types of reports (see Chris Lysy’s brilliant cartoon).

In our case, the primary intended users were senior managers and executives. What do these people all have in common? They’re busy! So the summaries had to be concise, easy to read, and skimmable.” (Wilairat, 2014)

Example of an annotated dashboard

(Wilairat, 2014)


Wilairat, N. (2014, January 22). Using visual communication to increase evaluation utilization. Retrieved from

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