TNB Roundtable: Participatory Analysis with Data Placemats in Nonprofits


TNB Roundtable: Participatory Analysis with Data Placemats in Nonprofits

Tuesday, April 4
10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

Tech Networks of Boston (TNB) is pleased to invite nonprofit professionals to a Roundtable session on how nonprofits can use data placemats for participatory analysis. Our featured guest will be Laura Beals and Barbara Perry of Jewish Family & Children's Service.   

Here is what Barbara and Laura say about this session:

There are many frameworks that can guide program evaluation in nonprofit settings; one that we strive to use at JF&CS is that of a "data inquiry cycle," in which the circular steps are Plan, Collect, Analyze, Disseminate, and Act. It is often the latter two that can be difficult-how do you engage stakeholders in a process of reflecting on data in a way that is respectful of their program expertise, allows for collaborative meaning making, and, quite frankly, is not boring? Traditionally, data is often shared in the context of a narrative report, full of charts and graphs that are interpreted by the person writing the report, perhaps even earning the dubious designation of "TL;DR" ("too long; didn't read"). While this type of report has its place for a particular set of circumstances, this is not the best way to foster a collaborative learning environment and to maximize the value of the data being presented. Instead, at JF&CS we have been using a participatory analysis approach called "data placemats," defined as:

"A facilitative technique that occurs during the analysis stage of an evaluation that is designed to enhance stakeholder understanding of evaluation data. Data placemats display thematically grouped data designed to encourage stakeholder interaction with collected data and to promote the co-creation of meaning under the facilitative guidance of the evaluator. Each placemat represents the data using visual elements such as charts, graphs, and quotes and draws on best practices of data and information display to format these elements. During the process, evaluators guide stakeholders to a mutual understanding of information contained in the data placemats." (Pankaj & Emery, p. 81)

» Register here.