Around the Institute

Lessons from World Cup Data?

June 21, 2014

Breakfast News

Two weeks ago, we hosted a lively breakfast discussion with Brookings’ Melissa Kearney, who shared with the group findings from her recent impact study of MTV’s 16 and Pregnant reality show. If you missed it, we’ve got you covered: her Power Point presentation in now up on our website here. We’re taking a brief summer hiatus from our breakfast duties but will be back, better than ever, on September 26th with Sam Daley-Harris, founder of the anti-poverty organization RESULTS. Stay tuned for more!

Telling Stories in Reports

If you’ve heard us talk about using quantitative and qualitative data, you probably remember this point: no numbers without stories–and no stories without numbers. A post this week on the Urban Institute’s MetroTrends blog suggests that some economists might be coming around to this argument – well, maybe. Economist Jon Schwabish laments the fact that his peers follow a rather rigid structure in reports and presentations that doesn’t make room for much storytelling. His advice: use stories to get your audience to understand why they should care about your research. We evaluators should take note as well.

Visualizing World Cup Madness

Guilty as charged, folks: we’re among the legions of office workers sneaking out (repeatedly) to take a peek at the scores for the latest World Cup match. But reading the coverage of these matches on The New York Times website got us thinking: what if evaluation reports featured interactive tools like this piece on the US v. Ghana match? Or perhaps like this essay, courtesy of Brookings? Data viz version 2.0. We’ve heard of evaluators using short video animations to present findings, so this ain’t a stretch.