35: Agile for Data

Episode 35 September 08, 2022 00:40:22
35: Agile for Data
Heart, Soul & Data
35: Agile for Data
/

Show Notes

"Agile" is a formally designed approach meant to help software developers turn out better software faster and with fewer bugs. Today's guest, Bo Ruan, Head of Data at the Alzheimer's Society, helps us see how we can leverage the core concepts of agile to create more impactful data systems, analytics, and insights.

Now, if you Google Agile Methodology, you can quickly get sucked into a rabbit hole of certifications and masterships and oodles of training. Bo's approach is that you're not aiming to become a formal Agile practioner, but rather to adapt the key Agile principles - which are themselves simple - to your data work. In this episode, we cover those essential elements and how to put them to use with social good data.

If you want to get started with Agile in your data work, Bo recommends starting with the 12 Principles of the Agile Manifesto. While they are stated in the context of software development, most of the steps have clear parallels to data work, such as delivering working outputs regularly for immediate stakeholder feedback, connecting end-users and developers continuously, and regular reflections on how things have gone and how they can go better.

About Bo Ruan

Bo Ruan is the first Head of Data at the Alzheimer’s Society, part of a career in serving the social good sector through data. As the first in his role, Bo faced the challenge of developing a data strategy from scratch. Alzheimer’s Society had not yet leveraged the data it has access prior to Bo joining, so he was uniquely placed to roll out an effective and robust data strategy for the charity. It is a process that continues to deveop, and that Bo is thrilled to be part of. Bo earned his BA in philosophy from King's College London and his MSc in Business Innovation from the University of London.

Other Episodes

Episode 44

November 18, 2022 00:33:35
Episode Cover

44: A Growth Story with Ryan Rucker

Any of us can find our way to data. So many of the guests on this show have accidentally fallen into data, and the diversity of backgrounds, academic disciplines and skillsets add strength to the data community. It's truly the difference between the mindset of I can learn anything given time and support vs. I'm not a numbers person. Ryan Rucker is an example of someone who accidentally found her way into data - and now she's helping bring an extraordinary non-profit forward in how it uses its data to achieve its' mission. Come listen along as she talks about the changes she's making, the challenges she's struggling with, and the innovative solution that she's applying in her organization using "data envoys" to continue data conversations outside her data team and build a bridge. See the article she references that inspired her idea here: Using Data Storytelling to Disrupt White Supremacy Culture | by Lydia Hooper | Nightingale | Medium Ryan Rucker serves as the Director of Data and Evaluation at The Literacy Lab, an organization that believes that literacy is a human right and that all children deserve to learn how to read. She supports the organization through data analysis, program evaluation, and creating spaces for even the most data-averse individuals to engage with data and collaborate with peers. After over a decade working with different education nonprofits, she has found her passion through increasing and improving opportunities for students, data storytelling with an equitable lens, and elevating the experience of folks, particularly folks of color, who work within the nonprofit sector. She received her undergraduate and Master of Human Relations degrees from the University of Oklahoma and is currently ...

Listen

Episode 22

February 02, 2022 00:36:01
Episode Cover

22: Getting Started with Analytics with Julius Bogdan

Getting started with analytics in your team or organization can seem incredibly daunting. My guest today shares about both the nitty gritty of the analytic journey as well as the overarching big picture to keep you oriented on where you are going. The good news is that you are most likely not starting from complete ground zero - every organization has data of some kind, whether it's transaction data, client management data, volunteer hours, or something else. After all, everything we do these days creates data. The trick is intentionally harnessing that data to transform. Before you get started building the next shiny thing, make sure you understand three fundamental pieces of your organization: Where are you currently? What data and analytics already exist inside your organization? What is the data culture of your organization or team? What are the current data literacy skills, data decision-making frameworks, and desire for using data? Are you currently getting decent ROI out of the analytics/data systems that are already in place? Why or why not? Julius Bogdan is a reformed technologist turned healthcare executive who is passionate about improving health outcomes, equity, and access for everyone. In his current role at HIMSS (Healthcare Information Management and Systems Society), he focuses on digital health transformation, analytics, and driving outcomes through the power of information and technology. Find and follow Julius on LinkedIn! ...

Listen

Episode 23

February 10, 2022 00:29:30
Episode Cover

23: Participatory Data Analysis with Veena Pankaj

There are many methods for data analysis, but we often focus on technical methods. Veena Pankaj of Innovation Network joins me to discuss another approach – participatory data analysis. In this method, the “sensemaking” or interpretation phase of data analysis doesn’t take place in a black box (or the analyst’s cubicle…) in isolation. Instead, key stakeholders and frontline participants in the project are invited to view the data and results, and provide their own insights and interpretation. This inclusive method has so many benefits that we explore in this episode. Whether you’re new to participatory data analysis, or new to evaluation all together, you’ll learn what a sensemaking session looks like, tools you can leverage to facilitate better discussions, why you really should make this part of your portfolio, and how to get started. Veena Pankaj is a nonprofit leader with extensive experience in mixed-methods evaluation consulting and philanthropy. As the Director of Innovation Network, she works closely with funders and nonprofits to answer questions about program design, implementation, and impact. Veena is a fierce advocate of participatory learning and evaluation practices that center people and relationships. She offers a learning orientation that draws on a combination of principles from emergent learning and participatory evaluation to engage stakeholders in collaborative learning engagements designed to promote shared sensemaking and advance collective learning. Her experience ranges across topical areas such as health equity, civic engagement, and social justice. Veena received her MA in Social Science from the University of Chicago and her BA in Sociology from the University of Virginia. She has also completed a certification in organization development through Georgetown University, received a master certification in ...

Listen