Ryan Rucker accidentally found her way into data – like so many of the guests on this show – and now she’s helping bring an extraordinary non-profit forward in how it uses its data to achieve its mission. Listen as she talks about the changes she’s making, the challenges she’s struggling with, and the innovative solution that she’s applying in her organization using “data envoys” to continue data conversations outside her data team. Data envoys and other approaches increase the inclusivity of data beyond those who traditionally see themselves as ‘data people,’ which reduces gate-keeping and helps democratize the power of analytics across an organization. See the article she references that inspired her idea here: Using Data Storytelling to Disrupt White Supremacy Culture | by Lydia Hooper | Nightingale | Medium

Ryan is a beautiful example of how any of us can find our way to data, and that the diversity of backgrounds, academic disciplines and skillsets add strength to the data community. She shares and demonstrates the power of the mindset, “I can learn anything given time and support” rather than limiting ourselves because we “aren’t number people.”


What You Can Do

Find the one big issue you can tackle right now that there are questions around – identify it, break it down, understand the why, and figure out how you can make it more useful to work that you’re doing in your organization.


Ryan Rucker serves as the Director of Data and Evaluation at The Literacy Lab, an organization that believes that literacy is a human right and that all children deserve to learn how to read. She supports the organization through data analysis, program evaluation, and creating spaces for even the most data-averse individuals to engage with data and collaborate with peers. After over a decade working with different education nonprofits, she has found her passion through increasing and improving opportunities for students, data storytelling with an equitable lens, and elevating the experience of folks, particularly folks of color, who work within the nonprofit sector. She received her undergraduate and Master of Human Relations degrees from the University of Oklahoma and is currently pursuing a Doctor of Education degree in Leadership and Learning in Organizations at Vanderbilt University’s Peabody College.


Try It Now:
Try It Now:

Find your community related to whatever it is in the field that you really want to learn and develop on! There are courses, there are organizations like We All Count, and the Urban Institute etc. Learn more about why communities are so important for data by reading “The Case for Data Communities.”

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