Part 4: Meaning Making of the Data

Part 4 is focused on interpreting the results of the Climate Survey and making meaning of this data. You are building upon the strengths and opportunities of the department, recognizing the experience of department members, identifying themes in the data, filling in any knowledge gaps and beginning to explore strategies and solutions to address the themes discovered in the data.

 What to Expect

Understand that reviewing climate survey data will provide an important foundation for the planning, implementation and evaluation processes (Parts 5-6). Take a learner perspective: We now have an opportunity to use what we know, explore what we don’t know, and do something about it.

When reviewing the data, be mindful of the following:

  • You’ll see activities and behaviors you do really well; you’ll learn about your strengths.

  • You’ll also see activities and behaviors that are not done so well; you’ll learn about areas of concern.

  • You may be surprised; you may already know.

  • Exploring the data provides you insight into community beliefs, norms, and practices.

  • You may be tempted to go down a data rabbit hole.

Explore the Data

When you meet as a committee to explore the data, remember your working agreements and practices for holding an effective meeting. It may be helpful to assign roles as needed (e.g. recorder, time keeper) and provide information in advance, such as reflection questions and a brief description of the data to be discussed. It is recommended to review the data in two meeting sessions.

Session one

The focus of this session is to look at the highlights; explore climate survey results of one to two questions per module. Additionally you can preview the data tables, which provides more details for you to explore on your own later.

After exploring the highlights, go through the following reflection questions together as a committee.

  1. What parts of this data catch your attention? Just the facts.

  2. What does the data tell us? What does the data NOT tell us?  

  3. What good news is there to celebrate?

  4. What are the opportunities suggested by the data?

Session two

Now that you have had a chance to review the tables in more detail, the focus of this session is to identify themes and suggest ways that they can be addressed. You are beginning to design an action plan for next steps that might outline changes in the department. 

Go through the following reflection questions together as a committee.

Impressions and key conclusions
  1. What are your impressions as you look at the different constituencies in the department and their experience?

  2. What trends by constituent groups are you identifying?

  3. Do the responses or the experiences of any specific groups stand out to you? If so, what concerns or opportunities do you see?

  4. In light of your data review, what are your biggest concerns about your constituents and/or climate in the department?

  5. What are the key conclusions and themes? 

Timely recommendations
  1. What recommendations are there for addressing the themes? 

  2. What issues related to departmental climate are you most interested in addressing at this time?

  3. What are your biggest hopes for the future?

Check In

Take a moment to check in and do a process and gut check.

  • How are you experiencing all of the results?

  • Do any adjustments need to occur to our collaboration, practices or work agreements?

  • What’s the best way to approach what’s next?