Data Collection and Utilization Best Practices (Part 2)

Pride Surveys Data Collection and Utilization Best Practices
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At Pride Surveys, our mission is driven by our commitment to work with our community partners and education coalitions to provide research, resources, and data surrounding and focusing on the current issues that affect today’s youth and adolescents. Data collection is a necessary tool for informing parents, students, educators, and community coalitions about how to have healthy and thriving students.

This month, we continue our blog series on how to present critical data effectively in different settings and best practices for data collection. Last month, we focused on data distribution on social media, and this month we will lay out how to showcase data in a community setting that will best tell the story of what you’re trying to present and reflect on within your donors or community coalitions. By correctly communicating data, you can convey important information to your audience, inspire action, and engage your community. The most effective presentations consider the following: 

Clear, Concise and Simple Language

We live in an age where it’s hard to keep people’s attention, so keeping your messaging short and simple is as useful now as it has ever been. This applies to your text and is relevant to tables, visuals, and graphics, where the temptation is often to elaborate on the way you disseminate information. People seem to often avoid using plain language for fear of data sounding juvenile, but ultimately it’s not because it conveys a clear and concise message.

Tell a Story

People remember stories, so try to tell a story with your data. Use real-world examples and anecdotes to help illustrate your message and make it more relatable to your audience while also trying to tie it into examples that your audience will relate to.

Can Your Data Be Seen?

In a world where we live on software updates and different tablets, it’s critical to remember that what is readable on your laptop may be far less so when projected on a screen. Audiences like community coalition members or potential donors won’t learn anything or feel motivated if they can’t see what they’re looking at on a screen. To avoid the awkwardness of standing over a crowd and trying to readjust a presentation on the spot, test it out beforehand so you know whether things are clear. 

Make the Data Actionable

When presenting data, it’s important to make it actionable so that it stirs emotion within the audience. Help your community coalition members or potential donors understand what they can do with the information you’re presenting and how they can make an overall difference. 

Consider the Platform

When presenting data, consider the platform you’re using. For example, if you’re presenting data in a live setting, such as at a community meeting, consider using interactive tools like polls or surveys to engage your audience. If you’re presenting data online, consider using social media to disseminate your message and reach a wider audience.

Publishing the Data

Many people often embed data onto a site in a visualization and in a form that allows for easy download of the dataset, but there’s a massive benefit to publishing all the data necessary for readers and people to do the digging themselves. It increases the transparency and validity of your data and shoos away skeptics. By making the data available, you can also enlist tips from critics on what may not be clear. 

Presenting data effectively in a community setting can be a powerful tool for raising awareness and funds for your coalition. If you would like more information on data collection, how to present data effectively or general behavioral stress, depression, addiction, or other mental health-related issues in your communities, we offer many options to fit various needs. If your community or school requires data collection, please reach out to the Pride Surveys team.


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