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Secrets from the Data Cave: April 2014

by Ashley FahertyWelcome 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 fascinating sneak peek into the cave, with the latest updates & tips on what we’re implementing here at CRC!April 2014:  Building Online Brochures for DummiesLet’s be frank: print advertising is going the way of the Dodo bird (RIP Mr. Dodo). Pamphlets, flyers, and brochures received in the mail(or in-person from a persistent kiosk salesperson while you’re walking through the mall, just trying to get your coffee fix) typically end up in the recycling bin or in a giant stack on your...

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Secrets from the Data Cave: March 2014

by Sarah McCrudenWelcome 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 fascinating sneak peek into the cave, with the latest updates & tips on what we’re implementing here at CRC!March 2014: I Am Going to S P A C EEarlier this month, while looking for some new and interesting data visualizations, I came across this nifty website that gives a spatial representation of the distance between planets in our solar system1. After thoroughly enjoying the learning experience (along with the witty interjections, as I patiently scrolled though the empty space...

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It’s not another cat video but it’s just as cool – check out the new CRC Website

 The completely revamped Carson Research Consulting web site showcases the talents and experiences of the CRC team as well as the company’s expanded list of services. These offerings go beyond traditional research and evaluation services to include database wrangling and data visualization.   Services are managed and delivered by experienced data and technology nerds, researchers and evaluators. The group’s strong work ethic and resourceful detective skills allow them to collect, organize, analyze and report on the data their clients need to explore, explain and improve their programs. And the new web site showcases the backgrounds, skills and experiences of each team member, including the new chief wellness officer. “The web site,” says Taj Carson, CEO of CRC, “reflects our approachable and highly applicable way of doing evaluations and visualizing data. I am...

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Secrets from the Data Cave: February 2014

by Ashley FahertyWelcome 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 fascinating sneak peek into the cave, with the latest updates & tips on what we’re implementing here at CRC!February 2014: Predicting Student Achievement to Hire the Best Teacher, FasterThe hiring process in any field can be an arduous task. First, HR has to sift through many (sometimes hundreds, or even thousands) of resumes. Then, they take those that are best qualified and pass them along to the hiring manager. That person has to go through the resumes, as well, and...

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Our Valentines: Why we love evaluation at CRC

compiled by Sheila MatanoEarlier this year, the American Evaluation Association released a statement describing what evaluation is and its value to evaluators and the public at-large. There are many different types of evaluation and the time it takes to complete an evaluation project can vary from a few weeks to several years. Amidst a flurry of projects, debacles, deadlines and what seems to be a long and arduous winter, the CRC team took some time this week to decompress and reflect on what we love about our work. As evaluators, we sometimes get bogged down by minutiae and forget the value of the work that we do! Taking a step back to reflect on our work and experiences encourages insight, learning, and fosters growth.So in honor of Valentine’s week, we want to share why we...

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Secrets from the Data Cave: January 2014

by Sarah McCrudenWelcome 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 fascinating sneak peek into the cave, with the latest updates & tips on what we’re implementing here at CRC!January 2014: Using Data to Convince Your Friends You Are Psychic on Super Bowl SundayHere we are in 2014, with February already nearly upon us, and as Super Bowl Sunday draws closer, I hear more and more people making predictions about who will win it all this year. Whether your team wins or loses (or didn’t make the playoffs), you can still...

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Happy New Year! And AEA 2013 Recap, Part 2

compiled by Jill ScheiblerHappy New Year from all of us at CRC to our friends, evaluation colleagues, clients, and miscellaneous blog followers! If you're like us, the transition period spanning the end of one year and the beginning of the next is a very busy time masquerading as a relaxing one. But, even as we'd all like a bit more down time, the busyness of this transition time is a fertile one for reviewing lessons learned from the departing year and for setting goals for the new one...

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Secrets from the Data Cave: December 2013

by Sarah McCrudenWelcome 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 fascinating sneak peek into the cave, with the latest updates & tips on what we’re implementing here at CRC!December 2013: Working while traveling this holiday? Read this first!It’s the holiday season, which means that lots of people are traveling to be with family and friends. Maybe you’ll have a long layover in an airport, be staying in a hotel, or maybe you’ll try to escape to a local café when it comes time for your crazy family to force...

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Out of School Time Programs in Baltimore City

by Sheila MatanoThe Baltimore Education Research Consortium (BERC) recently released a new report on schools in Baltimore City that provide out-of-school time activities. All the schools in the reports were funded under the Community Schools Initiative at the Family League of Baltimore City.One of the key outcomes for the OST programs was attendance; the report showed students who attended OST on a regular basis had a slightly higher school attendance rate than their peers who did not (95.0% compared to 93.0%).[1]Another key outcome was that students who attended OST were significantly less likely to be chronically absent[2] from school in 2011-12 than their peers; 62% of regular OST attenders were no longer chronically absent compared to 51% of their comparable peers. In other words, the number of regular OST attenders who...

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Secrets from the Data Cave, November 2013

by Sarah McCrudenWelcome 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 fascinating sneak peek into the cave, with the latest updates & tips on what we’re implementing here at CRC!November 2013: Why I’m Switching to DecafI’m kind of obsessed with tracking my progress to goals. And not just goals at work, or long-term goals in my personal life—I mean little, day-to-day things. I’ve even been known to track the amount of time I spend cleaning my apartment each day, because without documentation to keep me accountable, I would simply never...

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