Kristen Goettsch, Face It TOGETHER's senior evaluation scientist, knows our member data better than anyone. See her responses below to learn more about the release of our new coaching outcomes report, how it differs from previous reports and other important takeaways. Then be sure to check out the report itself!
This year marks a change from our typical annual report release. Could you talk about the changes that were made, and why we made them?
A traditional annual report can be formulaic. We felt that format boxed us in too much, so we decided to try something different this year. Our goal was to tell a compelling story about the power of Face It TOGETHER’s coaching. We talk a lot about data, and we operate as a data-driven organization, but sometimes the human element can get lost in all the statistics and numbers. This report paints a really vivid picture of the transformation that someone goes through when they engage in our coaching. And, it illustrates our commitment to demonstrating meaningful outcomes for the individuals we serve and the communities in which we operate.
How did you decide on the report's scope and focus?
The report focuses on data collected from 2016 to 2018 across all of our locations. Our mission is to get people with addiction and their loved ones well. This journey can take some time – there’s no clear beginning and ending. When we focus on a single location or a narrow period of time, the potential for making correlations and inferences can become difficult because of the lack of data breadth. A broader focus on our reporting allows us to highlight the significant impacts of our work across these three years.
Was there anything you were particularly excited to see visually represented in this report?
FIT’s multi-dimensional assessment tool, the RCI, can be difficult to visualize in a clear and concise manner. I wanted to make sure the general public would understand the data without a lengthy narrative. Lemonly did a great job representing this complicated data – the design is refreshing and allows for simple interpretation.
How does this report reflect the ways your role at Face It TOGETHER has changed over the years?
As with most nonprofits, our data collection early on was focused on what our activities produced (number of members, satisfaction, etc.). Once we developed and started using the RCI, it became clear that we needed to formalize the evaluation process. The opening of our flagship location in Denver signaled our migration from primarily research and development to a formalized model. As a result, my work became more focused on member outcomes, from emotional wellbeing to nutrition. Our knowledge discovery process now uses aspects of evaluation, data science and research.
What outcomes are you most excited by?
I am always so interested to see the changes related to social capital across all members. The isolation caused by someone’s struggles with alcohol or other drugs is so devastating to many layers of their wellbeing. Our members’ positive changes in their relationships with family, friends, coworkers and community is critical to making longterm changes in all areas of their lives. These social-related outcomes are a clear indicator that FIT coaches are helping our members in significant ways.
What about our challenges? How can we overcome them?
Our members are diverse individuals with a myriad of strengths, supports, trials and weaknesses. One of our challenges is ensuring that we understand our members prior to the start of their coaching experience. If we do, we’re better able to measure the changes they are experiencing throughout their time with us. We recently incorporated improvements to the member enrollment process. Through focused attention on the member’s onboarding experience, we have reduced many of the barriers previously encountered when collecting baseline information.
If there’s one thing people should take away from this outcomes report, what should it be?
The positive changes in our members is the most important aspect of everything we do. The addiction field has typically focused on counts of people, length of engagement and levels of sobriety. FIT embraces the complexity of our members and their selected paths to getting well. In addition, we use a validated, outcomes-based instrument to allow us to analyze these changes and ultimately get more people well.
See our coaching outcomes report here.