Data and Community Theatre - a Six Part Series (Part 5)
Keeping Your Data Fresh
Once you've done the initial collection, presentation and sharing of your data, you'll want to be sure you have a plan for either updating it, or removing it as relevant as time passes.
It's also important to assess the data you are collecting and ensure you are focusing on the right info.
As you begin to share the results, see what other questions come up from those who are reading or listening.
What other factors are interesting or vital to funders and supporters, or to you?
If you need to adjust your survey questions, your methods, or even ask the same questions again, do it.
The currency and relevance of the results is important.
It might seem overwhelming to set up this practice, let alone maintain it regularly. But, you don't have to make this rocket science; figure out a way to streamline your fact gathering and presenting methods. Again, make sure that, on a regular basis, what you're doing makes sense year after year; if a specific collection of information is no longer relevant, or you need to explore a new avenue for future funding or programs, make sure your practice includes assessment of your data gathering and presenting.
How often this happens depends on the type of data you're collecting and the purpose.
TIP: If you have data on your website or another public forum, make sure you have it up-to-date, or at least list the year from which the data was collected.