Data for
Fun and Profit
Heather Yandow
heather@thirdspacestudio.com
Today’s Agenda
• Types of data
• Discovering your data needs
• Collecting data
• Using data
• Data dashboards
• Other data...
data
“The goal is to turn data into
information, and information into
insight.”
Carly Fiorina
Four Types of Data
From NTEN’s 2012 State of Nonprofit Data Report
1. Financial and internal operations data
2. Marketing,...
Financial and Operations Data
• Simplest version: budget vs. actuals
• Financial and operations data includes:
– Expenses
...
Marketing, Communications, and
Fundraising Data
• Simplest version: membership records
• Marketing and communications:
– #...
Program Data
• Simplest version: program participation
• Ideal: collect data on outcomes, not activities
• Key question: s...
External Data
• Data about the world around you, often
collected by the government or other nonprofits
• External data inc...
Questions? Comments?
Discovering Your Data Needs
• First step is to narrow down the data you want
to collect
• Collect data that will help your...
Discovering Your Data Needs
• What are the three questions that will have
the most impact on your organization and its
abi...
Discovering Your Data Needs
• Decide exactly what data will be tracked and
how
– For your three key questions, what data c...
Collecting Data
• Get buy-in from your team
• Consider appointing a data czar
• Start small, but with big impact
• Don’t l...
Choosing a Database
• For donor and volunteer data, you need a
database
• A Consumers Guide to Low
Cost Donor Management
S...
Choosing a Database
• Be clear about needs vs. wants when looking
for a database
• Architecture trumps data, procedures tr...
Questions? Comments?
“It is a capital mistake to
theorize before one has the
data.”
Arthur Conan Doyle
Using Data
• Data helps you measure AND improve
performance
• Data can be used to benchmark activities
• NTEN: nten.org/re...
Individual Donor Benchmarks Report
Using Data
• Keep an experimentation mindset
– What are you testing?
– How will you know if you’ve been successful?
• Orga...
Data Dashboard
• A visual tool for reviewing and decoding your
organization’s key metrics
• Can have many different audien...
Data Dashboard
• A Nonprofit Dashboard and Signal Lights for
Boards from Blue Avocado
• Identify metrics, targets, and pro...
Data Dashboard
“Torture numbers and they’ll
confess anything.”
-Greg Easterbrook
Data Visualization
• Design follows data
• Focus on your questions
Data Visualization
• Design follows data
• Keep it simple
• Tell the truth
• www.storytellingwithdata.com
Data Visualization
• Design follows data
• Focus on your questions
• Keep it simple
• Tell the truth
• www.storytellingwit...
Storytelling with Data
Storytelling with Data
Storytelling with Data
Storytelling with Data
Questions? Comments?
Google Public Data
Infogr.am
Easel.ly
Questions? Comments?
Thank you!
Heather Yandow
919.780.4117
heather@thirdspacestudio.com
www.thirdspacestudio.com
Using Data for Fun and Profit
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Using Data for Fun and Profit

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A quick look at the types of data, as well as tracking and using data in your organization.

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  • Any other ways that you find major donor prospects?
  • Any other ways that you find major donor prospects?
  • Any other ways that you find major donor prospects?
  • World Bank, Census, Bureau of Economic Analysis, Eurostat, and your data
  • Any other ways that you find major donor prospects?
  • Using Data for Fun and Profit

    1. 1. Data for Fun and Profit Heather Yandow heather@thirdspacestudio.com
    2. 2. Today’s Agenda • Types of data • Discovering your data needs • Collecting data • Using data • Data dashboards • Other data visualization tools
    3. 3. data
    4. 4. “The goal is to turn data into information, and information into insight.” Carly Fiorina
    5. 5. Four Types of Data From NTEN’s 2012 State of Nonprofit Data Report 1. Financial and internal operations data 2. Marketing, communications, and fundraising data 3. Program data 4. External data
    6. 6. Financial and Operations Data • Simplest version: budget vs. actuals • Financial and operations data includes: – Expenses – Income – Cash on hand – Volunteer hours – Staff training
    7. 7. Marketing, Communications, and Fundraising Data • Simplest version: membership records • Marketing and communications: – # of website visitors, most popular pages, and time spent on site – # of emails on your newsletter list, open rate, and click through rate – # of comments on Facebook, # of actions • Fundraising: – # of new donors, retention rate, and average gift – response rate to direct mail
    8. 8. Program Data • Simplest version: program participation • Ideal: collect data on outcomes, not activities • Key question: so what? Activity Metric Outcome Metric # of people attending a training % of training participants who are using their new skills 6 months after the training # of lobby visits % of swing legislators that voted with you # of paddling trip attendees # of new people attending the paddling trip, # of new members from paddling trips
    9. 9. External Data • Data about the world around you, often collected by the government or other nonprofits • External data includes: – Demographics of the population you serve – Broader ‘outcome’ data about the impact you are seeking to create • Increasing amount of useful public data: – data.gov – DataMarket.com – Google’s Public Data Directory
    10. 10. Questions? Comments?
    11. 11. Discovering Your Data Needs • First step is to narrow down the data you want to collect • Collect data that will help your organization make decisions • Beware of “it would be interesting to know…” • Consider the key questions you are facing: – How is Facebook helping us to achieve our organizational outcomes? – Is our kids in nature program building our membership base?
    12. 12. Discovering Your Data Needs • What are the three questions that will have the most impact on your organization and its ability to achieve its mission? • Be sure to consider all the categories: – Internal operations – Marketing and fundraising – Programs – External environment
    13. 13. Discovering Your Data Needs • Decide exactly what data will be tracked and how – For your three key questions, what data could you track to help answer the questions? What data is easily accessible? – Who can/should track it? How often?
    14. 14. Collecting Data • Get buy-in from your team • Consider appointing a data czar • Start small, but with big impact • Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good
    15. 15. Choosing a Database • For donor and volunteer data, you need a database • A Consumers Guide to Low Cost Donor Management Systems http://www.idealware.org/reports/ consumers-guide-donor-management-systems – Summaries of 36 systems – Detailed reviews of the top 11
    16. 16. Choosing a Database • Be clear about needs vs. wants when looking for a database • Architecture trumps data, procedures trump architecture • Happiness is directly correlated with time spent learning and using your database
    17. 17. Questions? Comments?
    18. 18. “It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has the data.” Arthur Conan Doyle
    19. 19. Using Data • Data helps you measure AND improve performance • Data can be used to benchmark activities • NTEN: nten.org/research/benchmarks • Giving USA: givingusareports.org • M + R Benchmarks: mrbenchmarks.com
    20. 20. Individual Donor Benchmarks Report
    21. 21. Using Data • Keep an experimentation mindset – What are you testing? – How will you know if you’ve been successful? • Organize data around your key questions or decision points • Present data in a way that is accessible and exciting to your team
    22. 22. Data Dashboard • A visual tool for reviewing and decoding your organization’s key metrics • Can have many different audiences: public, funders, program participants, Board • Keep it simple and easy to understand
    23. 23. Data Dashboard • A Nonprofit Dashboard and Signal Lights for Boards from Blue Avocado • Identify metrics, targets, and progress • Code with green, yellow, red
    24. 24. Data Dashboard
    25. 25. “Torture numbers and they’ll confess anything.” -Greg Easterbrook
    26. 26. Data Visualization • Design follows data • Focus on your questions
    27. 27. Data Visualization • Design follows data • Keep it simple • Tell the truth • www.storytellingwithdata.com
    28. 28. Data Visualization • Design follows data • Focus on your questions • Keep it simple • Tell the truth • www.storytellingwithdata.com
    29. 29. Storytelling with Data
    30. 30. Storytelling with Data
    31. 31. Storytelling with Data
    32. 32. Storytelling with Data
    33. 33. Questions? Comments?
    34. 34. Google Public Data
    35. 35. Infogr.am
    36. 36. Easel.ly
    37. 37. Questions? Comments?
    38. 38. Thank you! Heather Yandow 919.780.4117 heather@thirdspacestudio.com www.thirdspacestudio.com

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