Outcome-Based Evaluation Data Management
If I was successful in Chapter 6, you should now know which core data sets (recipient characteristics, core-service functions, cost estimates, and valued, person-referenced outcomes) you plan to use in your outcome-based evaluation. Now the task is to determine how best to collect and organize the data physically so that it can be used effectively in one or more of the OBE analyses described in Chapters 3–5. I refer to this process as data management, the result of which is the development of a viable and useful data-management system.
All program administrators have multiple data needs. They are constantly being requested by numerous stakeholders, funding bodies, researchers, and policy makers to provide information about their service recipients, the intervention or services provided, the costs of those services, and the outcomes from the services. My experiences over the years with program managers has led to two conclusions: First, data collection and management is highly frustrating to most administrators, because it requires considerable resources (time, money, expertise) that are seldom budgeted or available; and second, few program managers are trained adequately in data collection and its analysis, let alone evaluation designs and statistics. I have also found, however, that most administrators are very receptive to data, if they can be collected and analyzed in ways that are nonobtrusive, easy to understand, and useful.
KeywordsProgram Administrator Guide Principle Service Recipient Recipient Characteristic Public Section Information
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- Keen, P. G. W., & Morton, S. S. (1978). Decision support systems: An organizational perspective. Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley.Google Scholar