Meet the Data, Evaluation and Impact team

By Vicky Cotterill, Evaluation and Impact Senior Officer

Who are the Data, Evaluation and Impact team?

Anna, our Data, Evaluation and Impact Manager, has been with DANCOP since the beginning, right back in 2017 when data had a team of one! I joined her in 2018, supporting on data processing and evaluations, and now lead on Evaluation and Impact. We’ve since grown to a team of four, with Luke and Laurence taking care of data administration, and we will soon be welcoming an Evaluation Administrator to support me as I develop DANCOP’s evaluation work further.

What do we do?

The DEI team work across DANCOP ensuring the fantastic work being delivered is appropriately evidenced. We process delivery engagement data and prepare robust reports for our stakeholders and funders. We advise and support teams to effectively evaluate activity, using our findings and sector evidence to inform future practice and decision-making. The team manage GDPR queries and Data Sharing Agreements, working closely with the Data Protection team at University of Derby. We represent DANCOP at a range of forums, including the East Midlands Widening Participation Research and Evaluation Partnership and national Uni Connect Data and Evaluation Working Group. We share our evidence and expertise with the sector and are constantly learning and looking for ways to improve our practice.

On a day-to-day basis our work is extremely varied. Most typical weeks will involve gathering, cleansing and analysing data; producing reports or other outputs; managing a range of projects; liaising with colleagues across the partnership and sector; and providing advice and guidance to delivery teams.

What are we currently working on?

The team always have lots going on, but summer is a particularly busy period for us. Our annual learner survey data is currently being analysed, ready for sharing findings and recommendations with the partnership. We also have lots of responses coming in for an evaluation spanning 8 summer school events, which need to be prepared ready for analysis.

We’re collecting in the final registers and activity delivery information for 2021-22 in preparation for completing the annual engagement data submission to our funders, the Office for Students. We’re also liaising with college and university partners across the area to map widening participation outreach provision, identifying gaps to inform DANCOP delivery in the coming year.

In August we’ll also be busy preparing strategies, guidance and documents ready for the new academic year, sharing requirements with the wider team and delivering training sessions.

Looking forward

Some exciting activities are taking place during the summer and autumn terms and I’m looking forward to reviewing the evaluation findings and seeing the impact the programmes have for the learners taking part. I am excited to have new insights to share with the wider team to help inform our delivery moving into the next year.

All of DANCOP will be getting together to look at planning for next year and spend some time on team development, which will be a fantastic opportunity to get to know some of our newer team members better and build the foundations for excellent collaborative working relationships. We have a very exciting year ahead!