Data & Decisions
PEG is committed to helping organizations understand and utilize a wide range of data—market/landscape data; financial data; constituent feedback; and outputs, milestones, and outcomes—to inform their strategic, programmatic, and operational decision making. (PEG’s “Data & Decisions” practice area affectionately borrows its name from a torturous MBA analytics course at Stanford’s Graduate School of Business.)
From 2011 to 2012, John Newsome joined forces with the Bridgespan Group and Bain & Company to help Larkin Street Youth Services develop a comprehensive 5-year strategic plan. Subsequently (2012-2013), John and another PEG colleague supported Larkin Street to redesign key programs (e.g., education, workforce development) as well as implement a complex new agency-wide client data collection and tracking system, using the “Efforts to Outcomes” or ETO software system. In addition, PEG supported related leadership and staff training and change management.
In 2013, PEG supported the evaluation department at GLIDE Memorial Church to expand its annual constituent survey to include more dynamic, cyclical, and customized approaches. PEG’s work resulted in the creation of a rigorously designed “question bank” (developed with a researcher at the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) embedded within a “cycle of inquiry” to drive continuous assessment, reflection, and improvement over time. This survey could be adapted use in a diversity of interview, focus group, and survey designs.
Also in 2013, PEG worked closely with leaders and staff at Tipping Point Community (TPC) to gather feedback on TPC’s grantee partnerships via development and distribution of a customized survey; rigorous analysis of 88 survey responses using regression analysis and related statistical approaches; and subsequent follow-up interviews (PEG’s TPC report is available at www.tippingpoint.org/annual-report). In 2015, PEG undertook a similar project for New Profit.
At present (2016-2017), PEG is supporting a leading NY music education organization to develop a best-in-class evaluation program using a mix of assessment approaches (based on models from the University of Chicago’s Schools Consortium and Harvard School of Education spin-off “Panorama Schools,” among others)
- activity data tracking (e.g., student attendance, parent engagement);
- interviews, focus groups, and surveys to gauge student, parent, teacher, and principal perception and satisfaction;
- expert observation;
- custom-designed standardized/normed quantitative tests; and
- comprehensive case studies integrating all of the previously mentioned approaches.
As well, several PEG colleagues serve as coaches with the Edna McConnell Clark Foundation’s PropelNext initiative, which supports promising youth CBOs to strengthen their programs, upgrade performance measurement tools and processes, and institutionalize the practice of using data to inform learning, performance, and continuous improvement.