Whether for a program reporting requirements or for a big data dashboard, Project Balance has extensive experience helping our clients think about the data they need for both tactical and strategic decision making.
Project Balance works closely with our clients to understand the underlying data and provide support for determining key performance metrics as well as government driven metrics. We start by documenting the performance indicator definition, including the data sources, metric calculations and display visualization. These definitions are the basis for report and dashboard development. Because decisions will be made using the report results, data quality is extremely important. We check that the underlying data is correct through additional data queries; as well we verify that the report calculations are correct using dummy data sets with known data elements.
Monitoring and evaluation require measure, documentation and analysis of data that reflects the status and results at various stages of a program. These data can and should be used for program decision making and adaptive management of a program. Project Balance works closely with subject matter experts to determine what should be measured and we help our clients look outside the boundaries of the problem at hand to anticipate emerging trends. We feel that it’s extremely important to involve key stakeholders in the process of determining and defining indicators; what and how indicators will be collected – so that they can express what results will have the most value and impact from their perspective.

Performance Monitoring Plans
Project Balance uses a performance monitoring plan (PMP) to outline key performance indicators, timelines, data source, and targets to monitor and evaluate a program. Through an iterative process, we work with key stakeholders to improve the PMP in order to adequately measure results for the program and make program improvements mid-stream. Within the PMP, we identify the general approach ensuring participation from both internal and external stakeholders. Through the PMP, we identify outputs, outcomes, and impact indicators to monitor and evaluate for the life of the project.

Data Demand and Use
While it’s important to identify key indicators, data sources and collection methods in a performance monitoring plan, it is equally important to document how the information will be used for decision making and to make adjustments to project implementation for improved results. As part of Project Balance’s methodology, we include an information dissemination plan that provides useful data to internal and external partners. To facilitate an enabling environment it is essential that decision makers demand data and are able to use it effectively to inform decisions. Project Balance’s approach is to identify key information for each stakeholder and provide information in a digestible format. Our emphasis is on displaying information that is specific to each stakeholder and finding ways to integrate this in their general work process. Through a participatory approach we are able to understand stakeholders work process and find ways of incorporating information into these processes. We take great pride in our ability to design systems that collect quality data and manage data with the intent to improve evidence driven decisions.