• June 2021
  • Vol. 22, No. 6

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Building Capacity to Effectively Share and Use Data

The Quality Improvement Center for Workforce Development (QIC-WD) shared a recent blog post about how data visualization can mitigate the challenges that arise when trying to effectively share and use child welfare data to inform services supporting children and families. There is such an abundance of child welfare data from both internal and external sources that it can be difficult for child welfare leaders and practitioners to make use of and share new information in a timely and meaningful way with those who can use it to make important and sound decisions. Data visualization can accomplish this by allowing data to be shared in a human-centered way, shifting the data from being reported as it is captured to how it is used; communicating information in a clear, concise, and engaging way that draws the attention of decision-makers; and driving evidence-based decision-making.

To build the capacity to visualize, use, and share data, the QIC-WD suggests that agencies consider their informational needs by thinking about what is motivating them to use data, the capacity of individuals and teams to work with the data they have access to, and what they intend to use the data for. The blog post includes the following strategies for building capacity:

  • Data collection and management systems should ensure data are available in formats that allow analysts or partners to efficiently analyze and visualize data. This would allow for the most timely and relevant data to be visualized and shared with decision-makers. 
  • Agencies should make developing data visualization skills a professional development priority.
  • Leverage existing communication channels—such as web conferences, websites, email, or other web-based mechanisms; face-to-face meetings; and written materials—that people are already aware of to share data visualizations in ways that are familiar, convenient, and sustainably supported by the agency.
  • Provide brief workshops with key stakeholders to demonstrate data visualization tools and learn more about how they prefer to obtain, use, and share data. 

Data visualization skills, strategies, and effectiveness should be regularly evaluated and improved.

To learn more, read the QIC-WD blog post, "Building Capacity to Effectively Share and Use Data."


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