Make Sense of Your Data: Infographic

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How to make sense of your non-profits data Start by asking yourself the right questions BY STEVE MACLAUGHLIN You'll likely realise that starting with the right questions leads to more questions, and that's ok. This is a data journey, and we're just at the beginning. CAN YOU BE WILLING AND ABLE TO CHANGE? Are we willing and able to look at how we need to change our decision process? How do we currently make decisions? How will analytics change that? Are we ready as an organisation to tackle this? What will we need to change? How will we make data-driven decision- making one of our core principles? Data must often be cleaned up before you can consider a technology choice to help in analysis. The technology is merely a tool, an enabler. The other important enablers are the people and processes involved. You also need to know what you have and how it is being used and by whom. To move to a future state, you need to deeply understand the current data types, uses, and questions being answered. Too often, organisations make decisions by executive order or, at the other end of the spectrum, by what people think/feel. Neither approach is sufficient for making a data-driven decision. To truly leverage analytics, the organisation needs to become comfortable in challenging assumptions and debating alternatives—but only if the challenge is supported by the data. An important decision is whether to manage analytics in-house. If your organisation doesn't have the resources to analyse data well, consider augmenting your capabilities through outsourcing. Working with the right partner can provide a tremendous return on investment, and it's often the easiest and most cost- effective way to get the ball rolling. The first key to finding success with analytics is to make sure you are starting your journey by asking the right questions. These questions should be discussed by key decision-makers across your organisation—in fact, this discussion is an important part of setting up organisational buy-in for long-term, data-driven success. Everyone will need to come ready to think about these big-picture topics: WHAT PROBLEM ARE WE TRYING TO SOLVE? WHAT VALUE ARE WE TRYING TO CREATE? HOW WILL WE MEASURE SUCCESS? WHO BENEFITS BY GETTING THE ANSWER RIGHT OR WRONG? DO YOU KNOW THE HEALTH OF YOUR DATA? //2 //1 Do we have good data to analyse? Where is it? And who uses it? "Don't forget the people. If your organisation is just starting to place analytics at the core of your strategic decisions, this can feel like a major culture change to some staff. Leadership, transparent communication, listening, and involvement will be key to helping everyone in the organisation understand and feel invested in your analytics journey". HOW ARE WE GOING TO START MAKING DATA-DRIVEN DECISION- MAKING? //3

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