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Corona expands strategic planning services

Corona Insights is excited to announce the expansion of our strategic planning services. The complexities and uncertainties of 2020 call for increased innovation in the field of strategic planning. Corona is excelling in two vital ways.  

As many of you know, co-owner Karla Raines is a recognized thought leader in strategy. She spent the last 10 years mastering her craft, positively impacting clients, and mentoring staff. We are thrilled her efforts have yielded trademarked intellectual property–Differentiation Zone®–and a breakthrough approach to differentiation strategy. Her book and online strategy community will debut in 2021.

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A Fall Facilitation Special

Leo, Corona’s assistant virtual facilitator

Believe it or not, today marks the official start of fall. While our summer has vanished, we know your work has not stopped during all the change and upheaval of 2020. We know you still have important decisions to make for your teams right now to keep your organization and your communities afloat. With that in mind, we are offering a 50% off discount for facilitation engagements held between the 1st of October and February 2021.

Whether you need an hourlong session to action plan for your fall communications strategy or a half-day or full-day session to clarify strategic direction or set goals, we can help. Please reach out to us via the website or by email to see how we can help you today.

Our facilitation expertise includes…

  • Strategic planning
  • Action planning
  • Implementation planning
  • Goal setting
  • Mission and values clarification
  • Conceptual alignment and clarification
  • Visioning workshops  
  • And more!

The fine print (there always has to be fine print): This offer is for nonprofit organizations only. New and existing clients of Corona Insights are welcomed. Travel outside of the Denver area, if needed, is not included. Offer is based on availability of Corona’s facilitators.


What is Equitable Evaluation?

Photo by Hannah Busing on Unsplash

According to the American Evaluation Association, “Evaluation involves assessing the strengths and weaknesses of programs, policies, personnel, products, and organizations to improve their effectiveness.” As a field, program evaluation first gained traction in the 1960s with “the infusion by the federal government of large sums of money into a wide range of human service programs,” (Program Evaluation: A Historical Overview). However, much has evolved since then in terms of how evaluations are conducted, whose voices are considered, and what the intended outcomes should be.

In early approaches towards evaluation, individuals often took more of an objective and quantitative approach. For example, evaluating the effectiveness of projects could be done by measuring growth according to cognitive tests or by demonstrating program reach through numbers such as persons served (Qualitative Program Evaluation: Practice and Promise). In the 1980s and 90s, there was increasing involvement of qualitative practices from domains like anthropology and sociology. Here, evaluation began to include perspectives of individuals as evidence of a program’s value. In its most recent stage of development, evaluation has made significant efforts to not only include the voices of program participants but ensure that evaluations themselves are culturally responsive and equitable.

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An Anthropologist’s Guide to Ethnographic Observation

Photo by Jordan Madrid on Unsplash

I want to give you an assignment. Take ten minutes to look around and make observations of the room you are in while reading this. Chances are you are in a room or a spot you are familiar with. Make a list of everything you see and then, I challenge you to observe five things you have never noticed before. It could be a stain on a ceiling, a rug corner curling up, or even a noise you’ve become accustomed to in the background.

This was an activity I first came across in Keri Smith’s book How to be an Explorer of the World. We have a tendency to not really pay attention to the world around us. Our mind fills in gaps and we walk through life making assumptions at every second. Ethnographic observations ask us to purposefully look past our blinders and observe the world around us with pure curiosity.

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What is Qualitative Data?

Photo by Jason Leung on Unsplash

According to the Qualitative Research Consultants Association, qualitative data “uses in-depth studies of small groups of people to guide and support the construction of hypotheses.” While qualitative research methodologies are based in social and behavioral sciences like anthropology and psychology, many approaches and techniques can be applied to market research.

Qualitative data differs from quantitative data in numerous ways. Conceptually, qualitative data helps to:

  • Uncover the values and beliefs of individual life experiences,
  • Share how reality depends on a person’s point of view, and
  • Understand the nuances of individual experiences.

This differs from quantitative data, which aims to:

  • Measure values and beliefs of a population of people,
  • Make relative and absolute comparisons between groups, and
  • Reveal broad patterns among large groups of individuals.
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What is data storytelling?

Photo by Nong Vang on Unsplash

While researchers hope that everyone is as fascinated with their research findings as they are, most people do not have time to read through long reports with dense paragraphs of  complex findings, graphs, and charts. Leaders and executives need to know the most important research findings so they can implement data informed and strategic next steps. Here is where effective data storytelling comes into play. Data storytelling is another way of saying data visualization. However, data storytelling is a step beyond data visualization because it involves taking research findings and transforming them into a visually appealing summary sheet that paints a picture of what the findings are, why they are important, and what they can be used for. You might have heard of the dashboard, one common and effective data storytelling style of report.

A data story typically involves a visual presentation of data that can easily be created with visualization tools like those available with the simple Microsoft Office package or with a more advanced tool like Tableau. Overall, data storytellers are often charged with the task of revealing useful and hard-hitting data in a manner that is cohesive and captivating. Quality data visualizations that effectively tell a story do so by removing the noise, making sense of the data in a coherent way, and highlighting trends.

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What is a Push-to-Web Survey?

I attended the American Association of Public Opinion Research (AAPOR) annual conference a few weeks ago, and I was happy to see that many sessions delved into the details of the push-to-web survey approach. Presentations described how many large and long-running surveys have transitioned from traditional phone modes to address-based push-to-web modes.

Photo by Christin Hume on Unsplash

Potentially, push-to-web surveys have a lot of advantages, including saving time, saving money, and even reducing bias. However, this survey approach requires planning and nuance to execute correctly.  Without careful tending, a push-to-web survey can turn sour and result in inferior data at a greater cost, something we all want to avoid.

This blog will discuss push-to-web surveys by exploring a few questions:

  1. What is a push-to-web (P2W) survey? 
  2. When should you consider a P2W? and
  3. What are P2W best practices?
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What is Statistical Significance?

You may have recently seen the phrase “statistically significant” in an article to note that an occasional glass of red wine can increase life expectancy (let’s hope so) or that your daily coffee intake is causing some kind of malady (worth it). Statistical significance is critical for how we understand important differences in groups and determine whether interventions had effects, but what does it actually mean? How is it determined? When should it be calculated in market research? Whether you haven’t thought about statistical significance since high school stats or see it on a daily basis and just want to make sure you are interpreting it correctly, here is a quick overview of the concept and the tale of the lady tasting tea.

What Does “Statistically Significant” Mean?

In short, statistical significance means that the difference we observe between two groups is unlikely to be attributed to random chance. Note that this tells us nothing about the importance of this difference. In fact, many statistically significant findings are trivial in terms of their actual importance. Why do we compare differences to random chance? How do we determine if a difference is distinct from random chance? Let’s talk tea.

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Happy 20th Anniversary, Karla Raines!

Karla Raines of our company is fond of saying that you have to do something for 10,000 hours to become an expert at it.  We at Corona believe that she’s right, because as she celebrates her 20th year at Corona Insights this week we’ve seen the impact of her 40,000 hours of strategic planning experience.  We can confidently say that she’s an expert four times over.

As consultants, our presence and power tends to be diluted across a large number of clients.  From an individual client’s perspective, we come in, do our thing, and then we glide back out to the periphery until we’re needed again.  But in reality, we’re not just waiting in the wings for the next call – we’re working with other clients.  Over the years, Karla has illuminated strategic paths for hundreds of clients.

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Denver Data Storytellers – Blended Storytelling Strategies

As data storytellers, we’re often charged with the task of revealing useful and hard-hitting data in a manner that is cohesive and captivating. Sharing data in a meaningful way is difficult and blending different types of data together can make it even more challenging.

Great visualization tools for quantitative data have made it easier to share quantitative findings. However, it is important to remember the value that qualitative data bring, and the importance of highlighting participant or customer voice. This event will explore how qualitative and quantitative findings can be effectively blended to tell a more interconnected, nuanced, and comprehensive story. We will highlight real-life examples from research in the private and public sectors. Your presenters include:

  • Kate Darwent – Director, Corona Insights
  • Molly Hagan – Associate, Corona Insights
  • Caitlin McAteer – Associate, Corona Insights

This event will be hosted on July 15th from 12 – 1 pm. Register here.