Asking the right questions is essential for accessing insightful information. Abel Koury from Compelling Analytics helps refine questions that drive your social enterprise forward.
After multiple interactions with nonprofits, Abel was inspired to combine his experience in research design and data analytics with social justice. Non-profits and smaller organizations don’t always have the capacity to create great surveys that will collect and analyze the proper data to further develop the organization’s services. Abel says organizations might be doing a wonderful job, but their data does not reflect the scope of their work.
Growing up in an “underprivileged town” with “economically disadvantaged immigrant parents” also shaped Abel’s perspective.
“I know firsthand how it is to grow up in poverty. I take that with me where I go, and I try to use that as a lens in my work.”–Abel Koury
Abel explained his thoughts on a rule of thumb for organizations. He started by creating an example of an organization with the goal of eliminating food insecurity. Focus first on articulating what you’re trying to achieve, and then sum up that end goal as a headline for a reporter. In this example, Abel said using “36% of kids are now able to eat three meals a day”. By focusing on the way you expect to present the story, and where you want the program to be when you get to the stage of sharing with reporters, you get clarity. Organizations can work backwards from that imagined headline.
“Before you even start the program, you’ve got to think about what do you want the data to look like? What do you want to collect? How are you going to show your impact?”–Abel Koury
Going deeper, Abel talked more about deciding what to ask and what information should be presented. Questions can limit results when the research design is lacking from the beginning. This led to Abel discussing how surveys should be created with the most diverse participant in mind. Questions inclusive to the variety of perspectives within your audience are an attentive and conscious effort.
Defining a question’s context is equally significant. Abel gave a great example where people need to choose between 1-5, with 1 = not very fit and 5 = very fit. These choices too much room for personal interpretation, miscommunication of the question and flawed survey answers. Unless fitness is defined through context. For example, 1 = not very fit (eg. I couldn’t run a mile) and 5 = very fit (eg. I can run a mile with no problem.)
As we continued, Abel got more into the rules of thumb organizations can consider to craft more effective surveys. He gave three solid rules any organization can utilize. I could really connect, since at Wild Tiger Tees, is also still learning to craft data collection, defining measures, and amplifying impact. Abel’s work with Compelling Analytics is building the future of proven impact.