In this section, a cooking analogy will be used to simplify and explain the data analysis process, including the partners conducting the analyses, the variables or themes used in the analyses, steps to prepare and methods to analyze the data, interpretation of the results, and the culminating plan.
Step 1: Convene Data Analysis Partners
Convening your partners responsible for data analysis is much like gathering your "chefs," "cooks," "dishwashers," and "servers."
The "chefs" represent partners with the big picture in mind.
- These partners are able to connect the evaluation purpose, intervention goals and objectives, evaluation design, data collection methods, and indicators and standards to the data analysis plan.
- Refer to the list of partners with data analysis roles from Section I.
The "cooks" and "dishwashers" are responsible for implementing the analysis plan.
- This implementation requires several technical skills, including mathematics, statistics, and probability theory; economic theory; systems theory; and information technology, data management, data coding, and programming.
- While existing partners may possess some or all of these technical skills, it is helpful to be prepared to recruit consultants or contractors to support implementation.
The "servers" refer to the partners responsible for translation and dissemination of findings (see Section VI).
- At some level, all partners should be involved in the interpretation of the quantitative and qualitative findings to ensure utility, propriety, feasibility, and accuracy of the evaluation.1
- Utility standards ensure that an evaluation will serve the information needs of intended users.
- Feasibility standards ensure that an evaluation will be realistic, prudent, diplomatic and frugal.
- Propriety standards ensure that an evaluation will be conducted legally, ethically and with due regard for the welfare of those involved in the evaluation, as well as those affected by its results.
- Accuracy standards ensure that an evaluation will reveal and convey technically adequate information about the features that determine worth or merit of the program being evaluated.
Next: Continue to Step 2