Why Is Data So Important to Yonkers Thrives?
Data is truly at the heart of how the Partnership works. It's how we are able to track our progress, how we can target work within specific communities, how we share results with our Partners and how we help the kids of Yonkers.
Through the effective use of data we can take our current resources and assets and use them most effectively to get better outcomes for children.
How Data is Used
First, we decide on partnership outcomes (like Kindergarten Readiness) that are important to children and youth. For every one of these outcomes we choose core indicators - that just means specific data points (like results of a test) that can be definitely be measured throughout Yonkers and monitored year-to-year. That's how we track our progress. Then, based on this data, Action Networks set goals and strategies for the changes they hope to see.
Why Are "Bright Spots" So Important?
Through data tracking and analysis we can find the "bright spots" where children are succeeding despite the odds. Then we can replicate these on a broader scale throughout Yonkers.
Looking at what is working is at the heart of our methodology. Unlike other methodologies that us data as a hammer to punish, we use data as a beacon to point us in a better direction.
It Should All Lead to Results
So, we come up with the overall outcomes we'd like to reach, pull the data, examine the data, develop strategies and implement them. But, we're not done at that point! As we implement the strategies, we go back to the outcomes and re-examine the data. Was there improvement in the core indicators? If not, why not? What can we change? This back and forth, where we continually re-look at the data is all part of continuous improvement.
At the core of everything we do is the concept of continuous improvement. We go through each of these steps for each strategy we employ:
- Measure Data
- Set or Change Goals
- Adjust Strategies When Needed
- Take Action
- Measure Data
- Do It All Again!