Using Data

Using data is important to all stages of delivering programs, from conducting needs assessments to evaluation to communicating outcomes. Data can rarely be used exactly as they’re collected; instead, they need to be analyzed.

Qualitative Data Analysis

Analyzing data is more than crunching and reporting numbers; it’s also about interpreting words and stories to learn more about what our colleagues are doing for, what our audiences are saying about, and what our stakeholders expect from our efforts. For this, we encourage and support colleagues in their use of qualitative data, from focus groups to interviews to open-ended survey answers and comments.

We can support your use of qualitative data through the following means:

Data Jams

Monthly Data Jams are the Qualitative Analysis Community of Practice’s core educational opportunities for building capacity around qualitative research & evaluation methods and use of MAXQDA, a qualitative data analysis software program used at UW-Extension.

For a full day, colleagues across the state analyze a data set brought by a colleague or team of colleagues. By participating in Data Jams, you build skills in evaluation development, qualitative data analysis, and in the use of qualitative data analysis software. More importantly, you’re working with colleagues on a real project, and you will finish a brief research summary at the end of the Data Jam.

Upcoming Data Jam Schedule & Locations

To register for a Data Jam, or to suggest co-hosting a Data Jam, please register here.  If you have additional questions, please contact Kyrie Caldwell.

Registration to UW-Extension Data Jams is currently only open to UW-Extension colleagues. If you or your project are not funded or employed through UW-Extension, please contact Christian Schmieder

Upcoming events are yet to be announced.

Past Data Jam Events

Below are links to blogposts summarizing past Data Jam events, from their participants to their findings.

Data Jams Toolkit

The Data Jam Tool Kit is designed to establish organization-wide data literacy and it is based on the Data Jam Initiative here at Cooperative Extension of UW-Extension. Although the Tool Kit is the externally-facing branch of the Data Jam Initiative, the tools and resources it includes can be helpful for and are available for use by all UW-Extension colleagues. Find out more at the Data Jams site (this link will redirect you to an external site), or contact Christian Schmieder.


Analysis and Software Training

MAXQDA is a powerful tool for qualitative data analysis that is available for free to all colleagues in Cooperative Extension at UW-Extension. The following page provides instructions for how to access MAXQDA. For more information on how to use the software, please take a look at these guides on analyzing qualitative data with MAXQDA, as shared by colleagues across Cooperative Extension.

If you have additional questions or wish to schedule training sessions for using MAXQDA and/or for analyzing qualitative data, please contact Kyrie Caldwell.

Recording Results Data

Recording Results, Cooperative Extension’s central data collector, is a source of data that colleagues can access to develop or improve a program, to report on a program, or research certain aspects of programming. You can use the Recording Results website to browse through data or if you wish to learn what others at Cooperative Extension are doing with Recording Results data.

Qualitative Analysis Community of Practice

Please refer to the Recording Results development overview to learn more about the Community of Practice.

Upcoming Community of Practice Schedule & Locations

The Community of Practice is open to the UW-Extension, UW-Madison, and other local scholarship communities. To join the Community of Practice, or if you have any questions, please contact Christian Schmieder.

To register for a Community of Practice event, please contact Kyrie Caldwell.

Upcoming events are yet to be announced.