Making Data Understandable: From Numbers to Stories to Change

Date / Time:
Wednesday, Sep 14 2:30pm to 3:00pm
Track / Session:
Behavior Change and Training / Program Results
Short Description: 
How do we translate data into a narrative that managers, elected officials and residents can understand. Making data more accessible (cognitively) helps programs gain influence, support & funding.

The presentation will examine the importance of changing data into insights and then into a narrative that helps policy makers follow, understand and act upon the information.

Data is a critical piece of developing programs and should be the foundation and starting point of decision making. However, often times the data is lost. When communicating that information it is easy for program managers and/or consulting engineers to leave the data as is and not take the next step of changing data into terms that "non-stormwater folks" can understand and care about. This in turn results in data losing its power to be understood, left behind in the community conversation and less influential in decision making.

The presentation will discuss the following:

1. Why data is so important and yet so difficult to communicate/understand.

2. Simple best practices to think about to help "translate" data into insights that are more accessible for others not steeped in the technical aspects of the program

3. Walk through two case studies SGA has worked on regarding changing data into insightful narratives that helped decision makers use the information to shape programs and direct resources.

Primary Speaker:
Stephen Groner, S. Groner Associates