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Get the Word out! Reaching Study Participants

by Angela Lao Back in the spring and summer, Inciter conducted focus groups in Baltimore, Philadelphia, and Washington D.C. to gather feedback on marketing tools that were being developed by a client for ours for their public health campaign, which was focused on eating behaviors.  As an intern at Inciter, I was tasked with helping to recruit participants for this project, and I was eager to find any method that would attract as many participants as possible. Ultimately our team used several techniques that together were successful! In this blog I wanted to share some tips and techniques that I found to be most helpful.  Finding your best method(s) to get the word out!  Posting Flyers: Make sure you have an eye-catching image and event details in large font for people...

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How Your Data Can Tell a (True) Story

by Jill & MandiInformation graphics and visualization expert Alberto Cairo caused a bit of a stir last fall when he bluntly tweeted his opinion that data journalism and visualization should stop using the term “storytelling”. "Storytelling" is a term that ought to be abandoned in journalism, #dataviz, data, etc. It has no meaning and leads to the wrong mindset https://t.co/5cEv184UsD— Alberto Cairo (@albertocairo) September 11, 2017  In the replies, he subsequently clarified that the word need not be abandoned if used properly, but should be considered problematic and approached with caution. However, he later went on to double-down on his initial sentiments earlier this year in another tweet, again eliciting much consternation and gnashing of teeth from his followers.  An argument based on evidence and careful reasoning is not a...

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Thank You and Happy New Year!

A Message From Team CRC All of us at CRC wish to send out a hearty THANK YOU and HAPPY NEW YEAR to our many clients, partners, collaborators, and friends. We thank you for helping our firm to have another successful year in 2017, in which we were honored to help organizations and agencies -- large and small, local and national -- to demonstrate and tell their stories of the important work they do. We look forward to continuing our work with you in the new year! We'll remember 2017 for many reasons related to CRC's projects, but a very few not totally work-related highlights were: Learning to row thanks to Taj and the Baltimore Rowing Club at Learn to Row Day. Celebrating Taj's 50th birthday! Sheila, Dana, and Mandi presenting to a packed house...

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Tailoring Qualitative Methods to Evaluation Clients’ Needs

by Jill (Re-post from AEA365; see the original here.) At CRC I’m the “word nerd”, implementing our qualitative projects. Like many evaluators, I’ve had to translate academically-honed skills to the often faster-paced world of evaluation. A recent project for a county health department’s substance abuse initiative provides an example of how I tailor qualitative methods to meet clients’ needs. Hot Tips Allot ample time for clarifying goals. As with all good research, methods choices flow from the question at hand. In this case, our client wanted to understand the impact of substance abuse on their county, and new resources to be tapped. Like many clients, they lacked research savvy, and thought they required services exceeding their budget and available time. We gradually learned they had access to lots of quantitative data and support from...

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The Opioid Epidemic – When Prescriptions Become the Problem

by Sheila Matano[su_youtube url="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hx7WLlJzrlw"] Recently, CRC has been working with several clients who are evaluating initiatives to combat substance misuse and abuse. In particular, these agencies have been concerned with how their local communities have been impacted by the problem of drug overdoses and opioid-involved deaths, which have markedly increased in the United States over the past decade (CDC.gov). More than six out of ten drug overdose deaths involve an opioid, and The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 91 Americans die every day from an opioid overdose (Rudd, Seth, & Scholl, 2016). In this interactive quiz from the New York Times, you can place the opioid epidemic in deeper context, seeing just how steep the rise has been, by drawing the trends in deaths from guns, the HIV epidemic,...

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What Breastfeeding in the U.S. Looks Like

CRC's dataviz team recently completed a comprehensive and beautiful infographic documenting breastfeeding statistics in the United States.Our hope is that this infographic can play a part in spreading the word about this important issue.  From a public health standpoint, the medical benefits of breastfeeding are well established.* Breast milk provides babies with all the necessary fats, proteins, and vitamins they need for healthy growth and development. Among other benefits, antibodies in breast milk can help babies fight infections and reduce the risk developing asthma and allergies. Moms who breastfeed experience benefits too. Breastfeeding can help mom lose her pregnancy weight (through the calories it burns) and can protect her against breast and ovarian cancers. In addition to the physical benefits, time spent breastfeeding also helps nurture the bond between mom and...

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We LOVE Maps: Map out your summer!

As we've said in the past, we at CRC LOVE MAPS. They're useful and (often) beautiful, helping us to make all kinds of decisions in research and daily life. Some of you have been following our interest in maps at the Baltimore DataMind blog, but to make sure more of our readers get to see that content, starting with this post we're "folding" the BDM blog in here. So now, along with the evaluation news, data tricks, and dataviz tips you've come to expect from CRC's blog, expect to learn more about making and using maps. We also hope to show you a lot of just plain cool ones, starting with this one, created by our own Matthew Earls. Baltimoreans' love of festivals is possibly even greater than our love of maps!...

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Why the Hell was Taj at a Design Conference and What Did She Learn There?

By: Taj  Last week I was at the Interaction Design conference. Now, you probably know that evaluation and design don’t exactly go hand-in-hand, so I understand if your next thought is a befuddled, “Huh?” You don’t usually find evaluators at a design conference.  So, was I just hopping a plane to San Francisco in February because of the awesome weather and the cool town? Well, not exactly, although I have to say those were both nice perks of being there. Did I travel to San Fran for some much needed R&R and to clear my head? Not entirely, but I do always feel inspired and innovative when I’m there. (And it’s a bit surreal to go by the Uber headquarters in your Uber.)      The truth is, I’ve been doing a ton of reading and...

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Secrets from the Data Cave: January 2015

By: Sarah  Welcome to CRC’s monthly series of articles on all things techie: Secrets from the Data Cave! (For those who don’t know, the title references our room — fondly referred to as “the bat cave”— where data staff can geek out in an isolated setting.) Here we’ll be offering you a sneak peek into the cave, with tips and the latest updates on what we’re implementing here at CRC.(This month's SDC is an on-the-road edition!)  Late last fall, I had the opportunity to go to phpworld 2014, a conference for PHP code developers, held in Washington DC. Many different web applications use the programming language PHP, so coders have a myriad of options for deploying it (including, but not limited to, Drupal, Wordpress, Joomla, and Magneto). This conference is designed to bring these...

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CRC’s 2014 In Review

[caption id="attachment_1742" align="aligncenter" width="600" class=" "] Warm Winter Tidings from all of us at CRC![/caption]   We've had an extraordinarily busy year, and are so pleased to have shared much of it with you!   This month, rather than a blog with evaluation-related info and tips, we're once again ending our work year together by taking looks back and forward.   Along with continuing to provide high quality evaluation and data services to clients -- both existing and new for 2014 -- Carson Research has completed its long-term project of updating our branding and communications so that they better reflect what we do and who we serve. Heading into 2015, we hope you'll become used to hearing from us as simply "CRC", in addition to calling us that to save breath and/or typing time.    To quickly...

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