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Kayla Ferguson

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Data sets are most valuable when people can understand them. When done right, data visualization is a great way to display large amounts of information simply and intuitively. However, in order to ensure that visualizations are effective, it’s important to follow a few important standards and avoid a few all-too-common mistakes. Data Visualization Do’s Keep the visualizations simple While many…

Data is most valuable when you have something to compare it to, but these comparisons aren’t helpful if the data is bad or irrelevant. Data is most valuable when you have something to compare it to. For example, it’s nice to know that your program helped 150 people this year, but that doesn’t tell you what you should do next…

Paper-based data collection has been around as long as humans have had an interest in understanding the world around them — tick marks on parchment were used by ancient civilizations to track food inventory, and in the 1800s the first known census was collected via pen and paper. Now, digital and cloud-based systems for data collection are rapidly increasing, but…

When discussing data collection, outliers inevitably come up. What is an outlier exactly? It’s a data point that is significantly different from other data points in a data set. While this definition might seem straightforward, determining what is or isn’t an outlier is actually pretty subjective, depending on the study and the breadth of information being collected. So what’s the…

Observational data is a valuable form of research that can give researchers information that goes beyond numbers and statistics. In general, observation is a systematic way to collect data by observing people in natural situations or settings. There are many different types of observation, each with its strengths and weaknesses. Participant vs. Non-Participant Observation Participant observation: the researcher is involved…

Writing a survey for a mobile app requires a different strategy than a survey taken with pen and paper or on a desktop computer. Mobile data collection is a completely different experience than standard surveys, and a mobile-friendly survey should reflect that. Below are some strategic and technical elements to consider when designing a survey for a mobile platform. 1.…

Data is undoubtedly valuable. It offers unprecedented insights into past trends and future predictions that few other non-numerical sources can match, making it an invaluable resource in policy making and social, political and economic understanding. However, data can only be useful if it is accurate and reliable. There are some major obstacles that can stand in the way of credible data collection…

The road to a good monitoring and evaluation system is paved with a sound baseline survey. A survey is an integral part of effective data collection and analysis. While it might seem obvious that baseline information is necessary to understanding the cause and/or effect of any study or policy implementation, baseline surveys often don’t get the attention and effort they…