Data and Decision Making Same Organization, Different Perceptions; Different Organizations, Different Perceptions

Publisher: American Journal of Evaluation, vol. 37, no. 4
Dec 01, 2016
Authors
Nan L. Maxwell, Dana Rotz, and Christina Garcia

Key Findings:

  • Within an organization, managerial and nonmanagerial staff working for the organization and staff from a prominent funder all expressed different perceptions of the same organization’s DDDM activities and culture.
  • Study findings provide insights into how to improve an organization’s capacity to build and use performance management systems, which include building a common understanding about what activities are—or are not—being undertaken.
  • Study findings suggest that research on DDDM using information from only one respondent in each organization or only one organization might not be reliable or generalizable.
This study examines the perceptions of data-driven decision making (DDDM) activities and culture in organizations driven by a social mission. Analysis of survey information from multiple stakeholders in each of eight social enterprises highlights the wide divergence in views of DDDM. Within an organization, managerial and nonmanagerial staff working for the organization and staff from a prominent funder all expressed different perceptions of the same organization’s DDDM activities and culture. Study findings also provide insights into how to improve an organization’s capacity to build and use performance management systems, which include building a common understanding about what activities are—or are not—being undertaken. Finally, findings provide insights about structuring research on DDDM, which indicate that information from only one respondent in an organization or only one organization might not be reliable or generalizable.