Posts filed under ‘Research & Studies’

Using Sankey diagrams for data presentation

I’ve always found the Sankey diagram an illustrative way to show transfers from inputs to outputs but have never found a use for them in my own work until now…

The following Sankey diagram shows research reports on crises on the left and the number of challenges identified (for humanitarian surge response) per crisis. The right shows the categories used to group the challenges (“Resource gaps, Policies and systems”, etc). This provides a visual overview of the challenges identified and their volume by crisis and type of challenge.


I produced this diagram using a free online tool. If interested in the research reports, they can be found here.



July 4, 2018 at 1:41 pm Leave a comment

New report: Evaluation Capacity and Practice in the US Nonprofit Sector

A very interesting report is just out from the Innovation Network on the  Evaluation Capacity and Practice in the US Nonprofit Sector (pdf).

Here are some excerpts on resources and evaluation:

  • 99% of organisations have someone responsible for evaluation
  • 84% of organisations spend less than 5% on evaluation
  • 16% spend zero on evaluation (!)

There are also more interesting findings on evaluation use and barriers/supporting factors for evaluation – view the report here (pdf)>>



December 13, 2016 at 5:44 pm Leave a comment

Survey-key drivers and patterns in Corporate Communications Strategic Management

Calling all communication professionals, please assist PhD student Lukasz Bochenek by undertaking a brief survey on key drivers and patterns in Corporate Communications Strategic Management:

Thank you!

August 6, 2012 at 6:46 am Leave a comment

Communications and behaviour change

Here is a fascinating study produced by UK government’s Central Office of Information that summarises what influences people’s behaviour and the implications for communicators seeking to influence it.

Some of the key implications for communication programmes and campaigns that come out of the study include:

  • Communications should not be viewed in isolation
  • Developing a practical behavioural model can help make communications more effective at influencing behaviour
  • Paid-for media opportunities (which traditionally account for the biggest part of the government communications budget) are not always the most trusted sources
  • Understanding behaviour and its influences will enable us to harness the most efficient and effective communications channels.
  • Understanding behaviour will support more robust and meaningful evaluation.

Read the full report here (pdf)>>

March 25, 2010 at 9:24 pm Leave a comment

Measuring social media…

A colleague is looking at how people are using social media and what do they value in it – you can help by filling in this quick survey (it takes about one minute).

We will report on the results here in the coming weeks – stay tuned!

September 30, 2009 at 8:03 pm Leave a comment

Measurement is an integral part of PR – global survey

As mentioned on K.D Paine’s blog and the Institute for Public Relations website, a new international survey of PR professionals has found that more practitioners than ever are measuring the effectiveness of their communications programmes.

The survey carried out by Benchpoint for AMEC, the international Association for the Measurement and Evaluation of Communication and the Institute for Public Relations, was presented at the 1st European Summit on Measurement in Berlin held from June 10-12 and attended by nearly 200 delegates from 28 countries.

The survey was carried out amongst a sample of 520 PR professionals internationally.

Key findings were:

  • The overwhelming majority of PR professionals, 88%, believe measurement is an integral part of the PR process (70% believe this strongly).
  • While 77% of respondents claimed to measure their work compared with 69% in a similar survey five years ago, the survey results show that the PR profession are still not agreed on the best tools and methodologies.
  • Measuring ROI (return on investment) on communications is viewed as an achievable goal by the overwhelming majority of professional communicators taking part in the survey. There is, however, very strong agreement that it is possible to calculate ROI on communications, and that demonstrable ROI would enhance the budgets (and status) of PR practitioners.
  • PR Professionals still tend to judge their success criteria more by their ability to place material in the media rather than on the impact such coverage might have on shifting opinion, awareness, or moving markets, although there is evidence that this is changing.
  • The survey found that the tools used by PR professionals includes press clippings – still the favourite – closely followed by AVEs (Advertising value equivalent) and more rigorous tools including Internal Reviews, Benchmarking, and the use of specialist media evaluation tools. Various forms of opinion polling and focus groups also remain as popular tools.

 Read more findings from the study>>


June 24, 2009 at 3:31 pm Leave a comment

Communication evaluation – recession proof?

In a new report released by the International Association for the Measurement and Evaluation of Communication, one of the findings is that a large majority of clients are demanding greater proof of programme effectiveness, with 77% of AMEC members identifying this trend. At the same time, clients are becoming more price sensitive:

Key results of the study include:

  • Increasing client interest in measuring social media reported by 92% of AMEC members;
  • Clients becoming more price sensitive (92%);
  • 69% of members taking part in the study also report that procurement specialists are becoming more involved in the purchase of measurement and evaluation services.

Further information>>

June 11, 2009 at 5:39 am Leave a comment

Global survey on communications evaluation

If you are a communications professional, please take a few minutes and participate in a global benchmarking survey designed to measure best practices in public relations measurement and management.

This survey builds on research undertaken five years ago. The results of the current survey will be presented at the First European Summit on Measurement, June 10-12 in Berlin, Germany.

Complete the survey here>>

The Intelligent Measurement blog will also publish a summary of the results once available!

May 6, 2009 at 6:30 am Leave a comment

Found verses manufactured data

In evaluation projects, we often feel the strong need to talk to people – to assess a situation or judge a phenomena by surveying or interviewing people. However, this is “manufacturing” data – we are framing questions and then putting them to people – and perhaps in doing so are influencing how they respond.

Alternatively, there is a lot to say for “found” or “natural” data – information that already exists – e.g. media reports, blog posts, conference papers, etc. We often forget about this type of data in our rush to speak to people.

Take this example. I recently saw a paper presenting “current challenges in the PR/communications field”. After surveying PR/comm. professionals, a list of five current challenges were presented by the authors. This is “manufactured” data. An approach using “found” data would be to examine recent PR/comm. conference papers and see what challenges are spoken about – or study the websites of PR/comm. agencies and see what they are presenting as the main challenges.

Another example. Imagine you would like to study the experiences of US troops in Iraq. Of course you could survey and interview military personnel. However, a rich body of data certainly exists online in blog posts, videos and photos from military personnel describing their experiences.

Of course, there are limitations to using “found” data (such as it may present only the views of a select part of a population/phenomena) – but an evaluation project combining both “manufactured” and “found” would certainly make its findings more solid.

Examples of “found” data:

  • blog posts
  • discussion forums
  • websites
  • website statistics
  • photo/video archives (online or offline)
  • media reporting
  • conference papers
  • policy documents
  • records (attendance, participation, complaints, sales, calls, etc.)

If you are interested to read further on this subject, this book “A Very Short, Fairly Interesting and Reasonably Cheap Book about Qualitative Research” by David Silverman provides more examples and information on this concept.


March 20, 2008 at 8:31 am Leave a comment

conference evaluation and network mapping


Often we attend conferences where one of the stated objectives is “increase/build/create networking” and I always found it odd that there is never any attempt to measure if networking really took place.

A possible solution is to map networks created by participants at conferences – and compare these networks to those that existed before the conferences.

This is exactly what I have done recently in a network mapping study that you can view here (pdf – 1 MB) and the above image is from. From the LIFT conference of 2007, we mapped the networks of 28 participants (out of 450 total participants) before and after the conferences. We found some quite surprising results:

  • These 28 participants had considerable networks prior to the conference – reaching some 30% of all participants.
  • These networks increased after the conference -the 28 people were then connected to some 50% of all participants.
  • Based on the sample of 28 participants, most participants doubled their networks at LIFT07 – e.g. if you went to the conference knowing five people, you would likely meet another five people at the conference – thus doubling your network to ten.

Although this is only a mapping of 28 participants, it provides some insight into conferences and how networks develop – it’s also quite interesting that 28 people can reach 50% (225 people) of the total conference participants in this case.

View the full report here (pdf – 1 MB).

If you are after further information on network mapping, I recommend Rick Davies’ webpage on network mapping. Although it focuses on development projects it contains a lot of useful information on network mapping in general.


January 14, 2008 at 8:20 pm 12 comments

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