Data Capacity Assessment
Acorn Evaluation’s Data Capacity Assessment is a comprehensive, two-month assessment of an EHS/HS program’s leadership and management culture, data climate, and data infrastructure. The Acorn team gathers information about a program in three ways: interviews with the members of the Senior Leadership team, including Content Leads; a staff survey; and an export of program data.
Where is my organization specifically when it comes to all things Data? We hear this question over and over during our trainings, classes, and professional development opportunities. Acorn's Data Capacity Assessment provides answers to this question.
Why complete a Data Capacity Assessment?
Using the information gathered, the Acorn team completes a comprehensive analysis and builds deliverables which answer specific questions, including:
- What are staff’s perceptions about data?
- How do leadership and management practices support or impede a healthy data climate?
- How effectively is data shared across your program, with both staff and families?
- What are strengths and weaknesses of your current data infrastructure?
- How well-defined and consistent are the program’s data workflows?
- How is data used to inform continuous quality improvement plans?
What can you do with the results when it is complete?
Head Start/Early Head Start programs that invests in the Data Capacity Assessment are able to use the deliverables for the following purposes:
- Gain a detailed understanding of the current “state of the grantee” as it relates to using data throughout the entire organization and use the results to inform continuous quality improvement in the area of data use
- Develop a job description for an internal/external data manager/consultant
- Provide particular findings to the Board and/or Policy Council
- Develop a Request for Qualifications/Proposal (RFQ/RFP) to hire external consulting in the area of data/continuous quality improvement
- Protect the overall grant funding by identifying areas of concern regarding the Data Tour that is the key element of the new Focus Area Two Monitoring Protocol
- Submit part or all of the report to regional T&TA as part of a QuIP or in preparation for a review
- Attach/include the report as part of the annual Self-Assessment
- Inform the Goals and Objectives anchoring a 5-year grant application
What Our DCA Clients Say
"With a focus on data and how it shapes our agency's Continuous Quality Improvement, we knew that working with Acorn would put us on the right path. They helped us ensure we are making the right decisions to meet both the Head Start requirements and also our own high expectations for our agency. Acorn also helped us focus our energy and, in the end, delivered a package that we are using to become a better agency for the children and families we serve."
CEO | Executive Director, Tri-County Head Start, Paw Paw, Michigan
"We used the reports that we received from Acorn and the conversation with Stuart and the Acorn team when we debriefed to identify and discuss what we were doing well and how to continue the momentum. The DCA affirmed that we have a culture that looks at data in a positive way so we wanted to maximize on that and also provide support in the areas of need that were identified, which was role clarity, clarifying the systems, and what to do with data."
Assistant Director, EHS