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Using Data to Make Decisions

May 8th, 2019
9:00AM to 12:00PM
Philanthropy Massachusetts, 133 Federal Street, Suite 802, Boston, MA
Consultant, Grantseeker, Nonprofit
Event type:
Member fee:
Base fee:

We have data, but now what? Program managers often collect data, but struggle to use it to make their programs better. In this workshop, we will learn to use data to drive important decisions about program design and management.

In this hands-on session, you will learn to use data in decision-making for your program. We will review multiple frameworks and approaches from rapid cycle process improvement to strategic planning with an emphasis on using data that your program is already collecting.

At the end of this workshop, participants will be able to:

  • Structure program challenges into problems that can be addressed using data
  • Understand and apply frameworks for using data in strategic planning and process improvement
  • Integrate data and measures into program logic models
  • Describe and plan a data dictionary for a program

Development staff will learn how to use program data to demonstrate their program's impact to funders and other stakeholders. Program managers  will learn how to use data to rally their teams around a common goal and maintain accountability. Executive staff will learn how to align data with the organization's theory of change and across programs and use data for strategic planning. The workshop will be very hands-on, and participants should come prepared to discuss a specific program. You will leave with a plan to integrate one piece of data (a data point or a trend) into a planning or improvement process.

In order to get the most out of this workshop, you should:

  • Have a logic model for your program
  • Be collecting at least one piece of data on a regular basis

About the Presenter

Pieta Blakely, PhD is the Principal of Blakely Consulting, LLC, a Boston based, certified minority- and woman-owned business enterprise. She is a researcher and evaluator of programs and policy, specializing in local economic development, anti-poverty, and workforce development programs. She has over ten years’ experience in program evaluation and performance management in non-profit programs.

Prior to founding Blakely Consulting, Pieta led the implementation of the Results Based Accountability framework and Results Scorecard software in inter-agency settings, the Boston Promise Initiative where she collaborated across 10 to 15 organizations and the Clinical and Translational Science hubs, where she worked across 54 organizations.

Pieta works with non-profit and government organizations to conduct research and program evaluations and to integrate performance management into their planning and operations. She specializes in designing systems that support quality programming, creating organizational accountability plans, and using knowledge to improve program performance. Her current work focuses on helping not-for-profit organizations to build evaluation capacity, integrate evaluation into their program logic models, and use learning for strategic planning. Her clients include a range of anti-poverty and social justice organizations.

Pieta received her PhD in Social Policy from Brandeis University. She holds a BA from Brown University, a Masters in Administrative Science from Boston University, and an Masters in Education from Harvard University.

Registration type: 
Normal registration

Zoom Instructions:

Zoom information: Zoom information for the program will be sent out to all registrants one week before AND in the afternoon of the business day before the session is scheduled to take place.  Please reach out to info@philanthropyma.org if you believe you are registered for this program and do not receive the link.

Registration & Program Follow-up Materials: Registration for the program will be closed at 2pm EST on the day before the program is scheduled to take place.  If you register after this point, you will be added to the waitlist and will be able to receive the program recording as well as all follow-up materials from the session.  For fee-based Nonprofit Partner programs, you can request these materials for a discounted rate.  Please note that it may take up to a week to prepare and disseminate those materials to all registrants.

Community Guidelines, Program Policies and In-Person Protocol:

Philanthropy Massachusetts has adopted these Community Guidelines & Policies for all programs.  

133 Federal Street, Suite 802 | Boston, MA 02110
Phone: 617.426.2606
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