Collaborate for Healthy Weight

That’s really the name of the collaborative.  It’s catchy, and the group is a wonderful mix of parent advocates, service providers, epidemiologists and municipal employees.  We’re working with them to create a data mural that will hang in the Head Start office in Somerville.  The mural will be part of wrapping up a multi-year project that brought together many different partners to address overweight and obesity among kids in the Head Start program.  They have great numerical data about weight and they have some very rich qualitative data about food and activity patterns. 

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We met a couple of weeks ago to do the “storyfinding” process. This time Rahul gave a great introduction to each of the types of stories that data can tell, and let the group find them themselves.  Although the group was almost 20 people, we made it through choosing a story with a few minutes left for people to play with pipe cleaners and markers and all sorts of fun toys to try to build a version of the story. While the first storyfinding workshop didn’t lead to much change in terms of how comfortable people felt with data, I’m pretty sure we’ll find that this one led to a significant change in comfort.  Just watching the crowd it was clear that most people who were there don’t spend very much time looking at charts and graphs, and even less time doing analysis.  It was nice to work with a group that was made up of less life-long service providers and more community members.  Whether or not the group feels more confortable with data, at least one person showed me a note he’d written about his excitement over looking at the data all together:

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On Wednesday we’ll be doing a visual design workshop with the same group.  I’m looking forward to a new activity that we’ve added to help share some of the creative data visualization techniques that Rahul talks about in his other Data Therapy workshops. 

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