While few would argue the importance of data collection within an Advancement program, there are ways to improve the type of data being harvested and the time it takes to do so.
Good data collection and maintenance does require an investment in terms of time and staff resources. In “A 5-Step Process for Data Analysis,” The NonProfit Times shared some useful recommendations from the American Society of Association Executives Technology Conference.
There are some critical steps that must come before the analysis and use of data. These include:
- Plan: Before choosing the data collection, consider the questions that the organization really needs answers to and if that data can be collected well by staff.
- Educate: Make sure everyone understands the data being collected and why.
- Clean: Data that is poorly or inconsistently collected will not be reliable. Putting time into quality control on data collection can reap big rewards down the road.
- Access: What reports will be useful and can the data be manipulated smoothly?
- Act: Use your data to improve programs, create new ones and to make your case to donors. The “facts” it can provide to support your mission are endless.
To read more about data analysis tips, visit The NonProfit Times.