Snapshot from a recorded video that says "Hustle the Puzzle!!"
June 14, 2019 - 1:03pm

Do you have a Theory of Change that is collecting dust? Do you want people you work with to take action based on evidence? If so, then this month's IG-ology is for you! 

Graphic depicting people with disabilities who are integrated into the communities of their choice
May 16, 2019 - 9:57am

How much progress is the State of Minnesota making toward its goals of ensuring people with disabilities can live, learn, work, and enjoy life in the most integrated setting?

Images of Daren during his time working at The Improve Group
May 16, 2019 - 9:45am

We recently said farewell to Daren Nyquist, who served as one of IG’s Directors of Consulting since 2015. Daren’s going back to the public sector, something to which he has always been drawn, to work with Dakota County.

Daren both oversaw projects and played a leadership role internally, improving our evaluation practice and overseeing different groups of consultants. While we are sad to see a long-time coworker move on, we are happy to have learned from Daren during his time here.

An image design of the word "IG-ology" that includes scientific icons to depict each letter.
April 19, 2019 - 12:47pm

Headshot of Amy CyrHi! I’m Amy Cyr, a senior consultant here at IG. For this month’s IG-ology, I want to tell you some of the considerations we take into account when choosing a data collection method.

The Coverpage for our 2018 Annual Report
April 19, 2019 - 12:39pm

As a registered Public Benefit Corporation (PBC) with the State of Minnesota, each year we report on our impact. Our 2018 report details how we made progress toward our three strategic goals: 

The Improve Group logo
March 26, 2019 - 5:24pm

Do you spend too much time digging through your program data to answer specific questions? Are you looking for a better way to turn your data into relevant, easily-digestible information?

We often work with clients to build streamlined data systems that help them organize and dive in to relevant data at the click of a button. For example, say you work for a program that serves multiple schools within several school districts. With a streamlined system, you could easily pull the data by site, grade, or demographic group and run cross tabulations to quickly answer questions at hand.

Graphic that says "Census 2020 - Lets ensure a complete count!"
March 21, 2019 - 1:58pm

The Census matters to all of us—it tells the government how to distribute hundreds of billions of taxpayer dollars. As evaluators, we also frequently rely on Census data in our projects to understand the composition of a community—and we’re not ashamed to call ourselves “Census nerds”! As a mission-driven organization working to build a better world, The Improve Group is also paying close attention to barriers to a complete count in 2020.

Headshot of Christen Pentek
March 21, 2019 - 1:47pm

Christen Pentek HeadshotHi! I’m Christen Pentek and in this month’s IG-ology I want to talk about how evaluators can ensure validity in their work. For me validation brings to mind conversation about details that matter. And it evokes the African proverb: “If you want to go fast, go alone.

Image that says "Evaluation for Grantseekers" and includes icons related to data collection and analysis
February 28, 2019 - 10:36am

Some funders are increasing their expectations for rigorous evaluation approaches, making grant seeking and management increasingly complex and competitive. Perhaps your organization has been surprised to miss out on a grant because the funder found your evaluation plan to be insufficient or because you didn't make use of evaluation data to make the case for your project. When done well, evaluation can be a powerful tool for creating compelling grant proposals and aligning your work with funder priorities.

A group of people are feeling engaged as they review a document together
February 27, 2019 - 5:20pm

Do you remember the last time you engaged with a Minnesota state agency to give input on a public policy decision? Did you feel heard?

An effort by the Minnesota Department of Human Rights (MDHR) aims to make quality civic engagement more common—and more meaningful. The Improve Group was excited to play an important role in this effort by helping to develop an evaluation framework to measure civic engagement.