The new issue of the NTEN Change Journal is all about data! Or rather how we all should love data! Whether you call it data-driven or data-informed, the issue has several excellent articles about how to use data for decision-making as well as lots of useful tips! It’s a must read for data nerds.
As many of you know, I’ve just finished writing a book with measurement guru, KD Paine, called “Measuring the Networked Nonprofit” that teaches nonprofits how to embrace the data and use it to improve decisions and get better results as a networked nonprofit. In the book, we have a chapter about how one changes the organization’s culture to one that uses data for decision-making. KD has a fantastic article in this quarter’s NTEN journal where she shares six steps on using data, including one of my favorite mantras – spend more time analyzing data than collecting it. She also recommends using the “fail fest” method that DoSomething had been using for years! (Wouldn’t a failfest be an awesome session at the NTC 2013?)
Carie Lewis, Director of Emerging Media from the Humane Society, has an article where she shares some pointers about how to talk about data internally from the point of view of a practitioner. I’ve had the pleasure of observing and interviewing Carie over the years – and she is a master of using data to learn and improve her organization’s strategy. There’s also a piece about open data in organizations by Kabissa’s Tobia Eigen. He shares some thoughts about the Open Data Handbook.
There is an informative interview with Mayur Patel, who leads the Knight Foundation’s evaluation efforts. Over the past year, his team has been experimenting with infographics, data visualization, stylized executive summaries, and even cartoons to help spread their findings. (I have to admit that I got very excited when I read about the cartoons because as part of the “Measuring the Networked Nonprofit,” I couldn’t resist commissioning the ever talented Rob Cottingham to create a series of 14 cartoon to summarize the measurement concepts in each chapter of the book -so stay tuned!)
My big takeaway from Mayur Patel’s interview was the question about future trends. His answer:
1.) Transparency as the new currency: How open we are about sharing our work
2.) Mobile: How we collect and share information via mobile will be increasingly important. Using the devices to gather feedback, collect data, and interact with communities we serve
3.) Data as product: The value that funders or nonprofits provide is not just the programs, but the data that’s created through them.
The issue contains lots of practical advice, an infographic of the NTEN benchmarks study, and and more .. don’t take my word for it, download and read your free copy today!