Bohdana, Data Evaluation & Insights Manager at The Mix, talks about the organisation’s collaboration with CRIS students from the 2019-20 cohort.
What’s your name and where do you work?
My name is Bohdana Dock and I’m the Data Evaluation and Insights Manager at the Mix. The Mix is a UK-based charity that provides free, confidential support using different digital methods to young people under 25 years old. We are here to take on the embarrassing problems, weird questions, and please-don’t-make-me-say-it-out-loud thoughts!
Why do you take part in CRIS?
For the Mix, CRIS is a perfect programme, very well aligned with our values and strategy. We are a charity focused on providing services to young people, empowering them and enabling them to thrive, and we encourage their participation in designing our services. And this is well aligned with the CRIS initiative. Our organisation, providing digital services has also a strong focus on innovation, learning and improvement. Being part of the CRIS initiative gives me an opportunity to have the conversations in our organisation that help us identify areas for closer focus to keep improving to ensure we are keeping up with times.
Can you tell us about some of your collaborations with UCL students?
During 2019-20, I ended up collaborating with four students on four projects. So two students were studying Behavioural Change programme, and they were focusing on our counselling service, specifically on improving user engagement and training. I worked also with two Business Studies students who were applying data science methods to analyse our data. They were applying methods like segmentation and product-and-demand for our helpline.
In terms of how we collaborated, we used mostly MS Teams for our communication, even before the Coronavirus crisis started, after having a few face-to-face meetings. It didn’t feel that the collaboration was very time-consuming. We shared data, training manuals, invited students to observe training and included a few additional research questions in our surveys. We also let students interview our counsellors. As this has been done over a long period of time, the involvement didn’t feel too intense. In our second year of working with CRIS, we are looking to build new connections with students as we still have plenty of areas we’d like to understand better and improve.
What motivates you about CRIS?
The prospect of being able to improve what we do, based on the students’ work, is a strong motivation for sticking with the programme. The prospect of reading their dissertations with the latest research or literature review focusing on the area I’m interested in is also motivating. We’re hoping that this will help us improve and also learn and perhaps apply similar approaches in the future.