Making Data More Useful

I Making Data More Useful for the Next Generation of the National Fund - A Quantitive Toolkit

The purpose of this report is to provide regional collaboratives, industry partnerships, and service providers with insights from research across National Fund sites, focused on three primary questions:

  1. Data collection—What are the processes and systems used to collect data by National Fund regional collaboratives and industry partnerships—especially those with consistently high(er)-quality data?
  2. Data utilization and learning—What do we know about how regional collaboratives and industry partnerships analyze and use data to inform program practice and strategy?
  3. Implications—What are the implications for the data collection, utilization, and learning activities of regional collaboratives and industry partnerships, as well as for future National Fund strategies?


The findings indicate the importance of organizational leadership and staff putting in place intentional systems and processes that support quality data collection and meaningful use. Importantly, the findings also suggest that higher data quality is linked to how it is used to inform program design and practice. That is, the more likely that leadership and staff can use data to learn about program practice and improvements, the more likely data users will invest in making sure the data are of high quality.

The recommendations are grouped into two main sections:

  1. Findings about the data collection practices among collaboratives and partnerships, and
  2. Findings about how they utilize their data for learning and decision-making.