I don’t know, honestly. It just is!
Creating reports that people will actually read (and then use) is a tricky business. At the end of the day, a report has to meet people where they are.
For some, that means staying in their comfort zone or within the comfort zone of their key stakeholders, and that often means a traditional narrative report. Others want and need a report that includes the latest and greatest in data visualization and reporting, and that might mean little to no text whatsoever.
But, we don’t know what we don’t know, and so it is important for evaluators to share a range of reporting options so that clients can see what is possible.
We created a KPC Reporting Catalog several years ago to provide these options, and we now send it out with each proposal we submit. Having the catalog and trying to keep it updated also helps ensure that we stay intentional in our own thinking about how to use data as we help clients tell the story of their programs and work. But guess what? It’s still hard to get it right. Sometimes we do, and sometimes we don’t. There’s always something to learn from either scenario, and so we try to update the catalog with those experiences in mind.