Ensure Your Organization is Taking an Equity Lens to Data
Excerpt from “Spotlight on: Equity” by Rachel C. Oatis in How to Make Data Actionable
Mid-year is a great time to check-in with yourself and your organization around your approach to data and evaluate if it is taking an equitable approach. If it isn’t, consider creating a racial equity plan. To ensure data is a tool that can be utilized effectively at your organization, there are a few key questions you need to ask yourself and/or others.
- Can you access the data? How is it presented or prioritized?
Is the data public information and how does the team plan to visualize the data? How does the organization plan to communicate data/trends externally? Is the role of the data collectors team to provide solutions or simply to collect data and report out to program managers? What is the purpose of the data for the organization?
- Do you have an anti-racist approach to data?
In addition to internal policies to create an anti-racist organization, does the organization also conduct an independent audit of policies/procedures? If so, are the auditors independently and minority owned? How does the data collected externally vary with the experience of internal facing audience groups (ie. employees, junior level staff)? Based on the mission of the organization, are there large gaps in how the brand is perceived internally vs. externally? Are there any marginalized groups who should be included at the table who are not?
- Who is represented in your data?
Is there a diversification in survey collection groups? Are organizations only surveying the same sample group of individuals to collect data?
- Are you taking bias into consideration?
What is the makeup of the team collecting the data? Are data collectors trained in how biases represent itself in data? What is the capacity of the team? Does the team have enough bandwidth to support each of the internal programs?
- Is there accountability associated with the data?
What is the teams’ access to leadership and key decision makers? What is the frequency they share data with important stakeholders (board of directors, senior leadership team, donors, supporters)? How does the organization plan to be held accountable for the data? How is the organization allowing the data to inform strategic priorities? Are those who are being affected included, to whatever extent/degree, in the decision-making process?
For additional information from Rachel on this topic, download our white paper below.