Z Informed – Outdated

How can you leverage your data to help tell your story and success? Dive deep into data decision making, management and tools that help make sense of your data insights to positively impact your constituents, your staff and your bottom line. Learn team-based ways to use data to help tell your organization’s story while also using it to help make more informed decisions.

2019 Featured Topics

2020 topics and sessions will be updated this spring. Check back for updates

Designing for Diversity: How User Personas
Can Transform Your Website and Services

In real life, we recognize the diversity of human experience, but we often overlook nuance and make sweeping assumptions when designing digital experiences, technical approaches, or communications strategies. User personas can help you empathize with and understand the real people using your website and technology tools, watching your videos, or consuming your content. Personas help you understand users’ motivations and how you can best leverage opportunities to engage them. They also interrupt the natural assumption we all make that “the user” is a person just like ourselves. And, personas are useful not only to optimize a web experience—they can help you strengthen your organization’s branding and even how the organization approaches its use of technology or delivers its services.

During this session, the presenters will provide a background on what personas are and how you can apply them. Then, they will provide templates and time for attendees to workshop a few personas that reflect their unique audiences.

  • Understand what personas are, what they can do, and strategies for uncovering insights about your audiences
  • Create a persona and learn how they work in an ecosystem of strategy and design
  • Learn how to embed personas in different kinds of projects, strategies, and deliverables
Junk the Jargon!
Let's Get Learning with Program Models

Program models offer a clear, jargon-free way to get on the same page when it comes to the intended design of a program or organization, what data to collect based on that vision, and how to use that data to improve practice. This session offers lots of hands-on practice drafting a program model, aligning qualitative and quantitative data with the model, and getting clear about high value next steps to get a program model in place after the conference. This session is ideal for organizations that are just beginning to refine their learning and evaluation approach, or for those that want more team-friendly approaches than logic models or theories of change.

Decentralizing Data Analysis
through Data Modeling

Look at strategies to strip complexity from traditional data sources and build simplified data models that are comprehensible to a wider audience. Move beyond thinking about data modeling as simply creating structural representations (although we’ll do that too) to thinking about it as shaping data – taking raw materials (your big, messy data) and shaping them into something recognizable (a flat file or simple star schema). Share examples that illustrate how FHI has expanded access to data analysis and visualization tools for program/content experts and reduced reliance on data “experts” using this approach. Examples will necessarily reference specific products (Power BI, SQL Server, SalesForce), but the concepts can be applied more generally.Takeaways: understanding the benefits of decentralized data analysis and redistributed data expertise, tools for engaging content experts in the development of simplified logical data models, examples of practical application of data modeling/shaping concepts.

Informed UX:
Data-Driven Redesign

User experience is an important component in website design and development, but you don’t have to be a UX designer to understand your users and their behavior. This session will focus on planning and actionable tools that anyone can use to research their users to inform a website redesign. Learn about UMBC’s process of gathering raw data such as heatmaps, user recordings, behavior analytics, audience insights, and stakeholder input. Leave with examples of data collection platforms, analysis, and a final report and scope of work for a UX designer.

Data Maturity: Three Perspectives
on Becoming a Data-Informed Organization

Whether your organization is struggling or leading in its use of data, there’s always room for improvement. This session will bring together three experts on different aspects of data maturity for a lively discussion and practical take-aways. Key topics to cover include understanding data maturity as a spectrum and developmental model, matching tools to your level of data maturity, organizational culture’s intersection with data maturity, and where organizations get stuck. You will come away with a better understanding of your current state, and ideas for how to overcome common barriers to using data well.