This blog post is a long time coming; we did this exercise as a team around Thanksgiving (yeah, I know, that was a while ago). But, I’m excited to finally have some time to put this together and share it. We asked everyone to finish the sentences ‘We are…’ and ‘We are not…’ from the perspective of Team COMET (COMET’s brand). Here are some of the highlights:
We get it. Learning a new database comes with a few challenges and can be intimidating, even overwhelming. For starters, you have to rethink processes, the way things have always been done. Then you have to sit through multiple hours of training that will still leave you with some questions. We understand this and no one is expected is to leave an initial training being a wiz, but we do expect that you’ll have been provided with enough information to enable you to do the basics and continue to build your knowledge-base.
You know who you are. You may be a small but expanding organization, using the original way you developed to track data for your business. You may be a medium-size nonprofit that has been awarded a grant that now needs a way to regularly provide outcome reports. You may be a large organization that has access to tracking software at a national level, but it doesn’t track what you need, so you found a way to do it. Often, that way is Microsoft Excel. And it is making you tired.
What’s the most important step to any evaluation? Data collection? Choosing a system? Hiring the right evaluator? No, no, and no. The most important step is defining your question, and the more specific you can be, the better.
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