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. Join programs nationwide in investing in your program's data capacity today.
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?
Directors use the Data Capacity Assessment to strengthen their leadership team's ability to manage the intense responsibility of collecting, entering, analyzing, and reporting on the vast amount of data for which the program is responsible.
Most programs are very good at this. They could all be better.
Our team gathers information in three areas:
- Leadership Interviews: one-hour individual interviews of each of your managers and directors (ex: Director, ERSEA, Education, FCE, Health, Data, etc)
- Staff Surveys: an online survey about data attitudes, organizational health, and data literacy for your program staff (ex: teachers and assistant teachers, family advocates, home visitors, etc)
- Data Explorations: visualizations of data pulled directly from your primary database (ex: ChildPlus, GoEngage, COPA).
This mixed-methods approach allows our team to gather valuable insights as to how your program truly operates on a day to day basis around data. Using the information gathered, our 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 invest in the Data Capacity Assessment are able to use the deliverables to:
- Gain a detailed understanding of the current “state of the program” of using data throughout the entire organization and use the results to inform continuous quality improvement
- Develop a job description for an internal/external data manager/consultant
- Provide valuable, engaging results 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 which is the key element of the 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
- Strengthen internal meeting culture around data for the leadership team
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