Once you have collected and analyzed your data, it is time to draw up your conclusions.
Steps to Interpret Your Findings
Follow these six steps to interpret your data to understand what your findings mean.
Review each section of results and ask yourself, “So what?”
Address each project objective and evaluation question by using both qualitative and quantitative results as well as other information you may have obtained during the project.
- a. If the results are positive and confirm project achievements, explain how they support the project objectives and their success.
- b. If the results are negative and contradict a planned achievement, explain how they fail to meet the project expectations and what should have been done differently.
Think about other questions that can be answered with the results.
Use these results to draw overall conclusions on the impacts that the project has had on its internal and external stakeholders. Provide suggestions for
- a. the future of the project;
- b. modifications that may be required;
- c. how to increase the success or effectiveness of the project;
- d. how to decrease the weaknesses or potential risks of the project; and
- e. how to use the results of this evaluation.
It can be helpful to take a break for a couple of days and then review your results and interpretations again. Make sure there is enough information about the original needs and purpose of the evaluation.
Confirm your results.
- a. Discuss the results with the evaluation group and complete/revise your interpretation and suggestions accordingly.
- b. Present a summary of results to the other project stakeholders. Complete/revise your interpretation accordingly.
Now you should have all the findings for your evaluation work. Share the findings with your evaluation group and ensure that the findings are clear and relevant and you have done enough data analyses. Be prepared to repeat part of your analysis for checking or to run new analyses to enrich your findings.