Data Meeting Toolkit

Data Meeting Toolkit icon, wrench and screwdriver

Data Meeting Toolkit


What is the data meeting toolkit?

The Data Meeting Toolkit is a suite of tools that groups can use to guide conversation around data and support databased decisionmaking. The toolkit provides resources to support success before, during, and after data meetings, including

  • A description of essential data meeting roles and responsibilities, including key stakeholders
  • A protocol of steps before, during, and after meetings to guide selection, analysis, and decisionmaking using data
  • Examples of how to use the toolkit to address a range of data meeting needs
  • Guidelines and editable templates for planning, facilitating, and documenting data meetings
  • Additional resources to support data use

A key part of the data analysis process involves talking about data and making meaning of data together. This toolkit helps agencies leverage data they have gathered, engage in a process of data-informed decisionmaking through guided conversation, and build capacity for the ongoing use of data for continuous improvement.

Who can use the toolkit and how?

Groups engaged in making decisions using data that can use the toolkit include

  • State and local education agencies
  • Advocacy groups
  • Internal and external program evaluators

Data meeting organizers can use the toolkit’s protocol as a stand-alone resource or with other parts of the toolkit for a comprehensive approach to planning and conducting data meetings. They can use the toolkit to

  • Better understand and value data
  • Support more sophisticated data analysis
  • Synthesize data from multiple sources
  • Determine root causes of identified concerns
  • Prepare data presentations to meet information needs of multiple audiences
  • Support federal, state, and local reporting needs

Toolkit Components

Roles in a Data Meeting

Data meetings are most effective when team members serve specific roles for planning and conducting the meeting, including a protocol lead, meeting facilitator, notetaker and timekeeper, and stakeholder participants. Individuals can play one or multiple roles, and each role has specific responsibilities. Identifying key roles, clarifying responsibilities, and strategically including stakeholders in data meetings can help maximize participation and align meeting efforts with desired outcomes.

Data Meeting Protocol

The protocol explains steps to follow before, during, and after a meeting. Groups can use the protocol during a single meeting or series of meetings as part of a recurring decisionmaking process. Meeting organizers and participants can use the protocol’s strategies and facilitation tips to help ensure that they pay careful attention not just to what happens during the meeting but also to intentional planning before the meeting and effective follow up after the meeting.

Before the meeting, the protocol lead plans the meeting with input from other members of the meeting team.

  1. Determine objective
  2. Identify data
  3. Identify participants and key responsibilities
  4. Organize data to present
  5. Prepare and distribute agenda

During the meeting, a designated facilitator guides the data discussion during the meeting.

  1. Do introductions and review key messages
  2. Present the data 
  3. Discuss observations of the data 
  4. Discuss interpretations of the data
  5. Discuss implications of the data 
  6. Determine next steps for the group 
  7. Reflect on the meeting’s effectiveness 

After the meeting, the protocol lead recaps the meeting and next steps.

  1. Distribute notes from protocol process
  2. Confirm next steps and timeline for additional actions 

Data Meeting Examples

Groups use the meeting protocol to construct meaning from data for different purposes. The protocol steps are the same, but the purposes, desired outcomes, range of stakeholders, and depth of analysis they will undertake may differ. These examples represent just a few of the ways groups can use the data meeting toolkit.



Data Meeting Templates

Editable templates such as customizable participant and process agendas, action plan templates, and follow-up checklists help with planning and conducting meetings.






Additional Resources to Support Data Use

The Data Meeting Toolkit can support the analysis and use of data within groups for a variety of purposes. Some data meeting groups, however, may need additional support or want to investigate data use topics more deeply.