The Average Impact visualization provides an overall picture of need reduction over time. It can answer the following questions:
- What is the difference between the average number of actionable items at Initial compared to Ever and Last?
- What is the total need reduction form the maximum about of need (Ever) and Last?
Context of Use
This visualization generally appeals to those seeking a blunt high level measure of system performance. It can be used to communicate system level performance to leadership/administration or community constituents.
Since this visualization is a retrospective look at youth over time it is looking at youth who have been reassessed at least once and/or youth who exited (linkages/transitions). The results of this visualization can be thought of as an aggregated assessment of how a person moves through each of the key decision points in a program. It’s use in decision making is best suited at a programmatic level and may influence one or all of the key decision points.
Utility and Unit
This visualization is Evaluative in that in compares need level at different time points. This visualization can be used at the sub or whole group level.
This is a product measure, in that it is summarizing the change that occurred over time (in essence it is the result of the program’s process).
Preparation of Data
The Average Impact Visualization has several important data considerations:
It is helpful to use an entry cohort for this visualization. In this example it includes all youth that had an initial assessment within a given year. In addition, only youth with 2 or more assessments (an initial and at least 1 reassessment), and with at least 30 or more days between assessments were included. Those not meeting this criteria were excluded (this is important to know).
Domains and Item Included
Only “changeable” needs and strengths were used (Behavior, Life Functioning, Risk, Culture, Caregiver and Strengths Domains).
Initial = add up all actionable items in the domains listed above on the initial assessments and divide by the number of youth in the cohort (based on inclusion criteria).
Ever = Take the max score for each item across all assessments for each youth (including initial and last) and add up all the actionable items and divide by the number of youth in the cohort.
Last = Add up all actionable items on the last assessment and divide by the number of youth in the cohort.
Example Data Table
This visualization works well as a bar chart with different color bars to distinguish between Initial, Ever and Last. It is also helpful to display the number of average of actionable items above each bar.
This report can be used to start conversations about differences seen between Initial, Ever and Last. Here are some questions for consideration:
- Does the pattern match your lived experience of the people you serve?
- Does the pattern match your expectation?
- When filtered by various groups are you surprised by what you see?
- Can you target efforts to increase the need reduction for certain groups?
- Can you learn from groups that are seeing significant need reduction?