It’s a Meet the Team blog post kind of day, and today, we’re highlighting Katrina Naeve, Impact Consultant here at ResultsLab.
Katrina Naeve, Impact Associate has over 5 years of experience with database and data strategy management as well as programmatic experience with nonprofit and international development organizations. She is passionate about using data to help social good organizations meet their strategic goals by leveraging data. Katrina spent 2 years refining a database and building a data strategy at a regional environmental nonprofit, Alliance for the Great Lakes. Prior to that, Katrina spent 3 years at a USAID contractor, Chemonics International, setting up data systems and evaluation practices for a variety of international projects. She holds a master’s degree in International Development from American University, and a bachelor’s degree in History from Colorado College.
Q: What inspired you to pursue a career in evaluation and data use?
When I was a Peace Corps volunteer in South Africa, I noticed that I was collecting the same information, the same data that the volunteer I had replaced had. We were duplicating efforts that took time, but also extracting of the community I was working and living in. It didn’t make sense to me that we were not building upon the work of previous volunteers, but rebuilding the wheel again, so to speak, instead of leveraging that information.
When I started working at a smaller nonprofit, I saw a similar problem with collecting information, but not really using it to their advantage. Aside from reporting data to funders or the board, we were not using this valuable information to adjust programming or target marketing efforts. In an environment where resources are limited, data can be the key to use resources, like time, donations and staff, effectively in order to maximize impact.
As someone who always wanted to do mission-driven work, I felt this was an area I could make the most impact on (pun intended).
Q: What’s your favorite quote/mantra?
“Perfection is the enemy of progress” – Winston Churchill
Q: Who would you most like to swap places with for the day?
Lilly Singh’s personal assistant so I can hang out with her for the day.
Q: What are your top 3 favorite podcasts/books/blogs to follow?
- Pod Save America/the World (podcast): I am a political junkie, so I appreciate the humor mixed with realism the hosts convey when discussing world events.
- The Thing About Pam (podcast): I am always listening to some sort of long episodic true-crime series, and this happens to be it right now.
- Homestead and Chill (blog): I started following this blog about all things homesteading last year when we started vegetable gardening. The author shares tips and tricks from everything to creating a sourdough starter to planting pollinator gardens that inspires my inner homesteader.
Q: What is something people in your industry/niche have to deal with that you want to fix?
In past roles, it has been educating folks on the importance of not just collecting data, but using it for internal purpose, like learning. Nonprofits are often understaffed and the staff they do have are typically juggling multiple responsibilities and so it can be an uphill battle, understandably, to convince them to hire additional staff or have current staff take on more tasks in order to “do data.” In the end it’s about making data less intimidating and more accessible so staff have the confidence and space to learn and implement worthwhile data practices that will hopefully make their jobs easier.
Q: What are your hobbies?
Like many of my colleagues, I like spending my time outside, hiking, kayaking, gardening, and exploring national parks with my partner and dachshund. I am a huge Chicago Bears fan which means I apparently enjoy having my heart broken a couple times of year. I’ve also recently started weightlifting and would highly recommend that to everyone; there is nothing like throwing some weights around on an early Sunday morning.
Q: Tell us something we don’t know about you.
My weird fun fact is I played badminton in high school. It’s not the most well-known sport, especially competitively. It requires a lot of communication skills (for doubles), agility to get all over the court, and quick reflexes. My doubles partner and I went to the State Championship my senior year, and while we didn’t get super far, it was a very cool experience.
Thank you, Katrina, for letting us pick your brain and get to know you better. Be on the lookout for our other ResultsLab teammate features in the upcoming months, and be sure to follow us on Facebook and LinkedIn.