Interpret your findings

The cycle of good impact practice:  Understanding what your data is telling you.

Once you’ve analysed your data, it’s important to understand what it is telling you about your work – what has gone well and what could be improved.

Why is interpretation important?

While your analysis is about making sense of your data, interpretation is identifying how to use your findings to improve your work and tell your story. It involves deciding which aspects of your findings are the most interesting and important.

How to interpret your findings

Go back to your research questions and priority areas and review the five types of data framework. Ask yourself:

● What has worked well? What hasn’t worked well?
● Which findings matched our expectations? Which findings surprised us?
● Which questions does our data answer and what is it telling us? Is it telling us anything else?


The cycle of good impact practice defines what impact practice is and articulates a clear path to success. It follows a four-step cycle. This page is part of Review, the fourth step in the cycle.

Other resources from this step in the cycle

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This webpage has been adapted from the Inspiring Impact programme, which ran from 2011 until early 2022 and supported voluntary organisations to improve their impact practice. More information about the Inspiring Impact programme.