Provides insight for government agencies and nonprofit organizations on implementing, using and analyzing performance measurements with big data.

“This report provides a number of recommendations for making use of [data analytics] tools to help speed up the development and use of modern technology. Technology-related problems exist, especially the need to provide user-friendly devices that can enable the manager of the 21st century to download at any time and in any location, from some form of electronic device, information that enables them to drill down into the latest available data. This is data that in the past would have required an excessive amount of time and resources to obtain. And, all of this achieved without requiring more than a basic knowledge of analytical methods” (preface). “A number of the recommendations take advantage of the significant advances in relevant technology and also incorporate basic elements of program evaluation into performance measurement systems…Advances in information technology (IT) and lowered costs of basic hardware and software make many of the recommendations here feasible for even small organizations” (p. 4). (Abstractor: Author)

Major Findings & Recommendations

Topic areas of recommendations for implementing data analytics and using tools efficiently include: (1) “are you measuring the right things and in the right way?” (p. 8), (2) “analyzing and reporting the data: making the data considerably more useful” (p. 37), and (3) “using the information to improve services” (p. 58). Some of the recommendations regarding using big data and analytics to improve services: • “Hold regular data-driven performance reviews with staff, using data from the performance measurement system as a starting point for such meetings” (p. 59). • “Encourage use of regular data-driven performance reviews at lower levels of management, not only at the top levels of an organization” (p. 61). • “Use performance measurement system outcome data as a major basis for developing and justifying policy choices, including budgets and strategic plans” (p. 62). • “Use performance information to motivate employees and contractors—but with caution” (p. 67). • “Use performance information as the basis of reports to persons outside the organization, such as legislative bodies, the media, and citizens” (p. 68). • “Link up with other agencies to tackle complex issues involving multiple agencies and programs. Enable performance data sharing across agencies while protecting confidentiality” (p. 69). (Abstractor: Author and Website Staff)