Too often organizations set up metrics to define success as an organization, but then fall victim to a “set it and forget it” mentality. Though intentions were strong, it is easy to get distracted by the ever growing to do list and last-minute fire drills. The first thing to go when time is precious? The analysis of your activities that allows you to be more strategic looking forward.
The challenge is without that reflection your impact organization will be working to optimize your efforts without knowing what is working today. It’s like looking up directions, but then not using them to get to your destination. Chances are that you may get lost, or at the very least risk taking the least direct route.
Being data-driven does not mean you need to be pulling reports and evaluating your efforts on a daily basis, however. A great first step is committing to a mid-year evaluation, where all teams at your impact organization take dedicated time to collect, centralize, and analyze available data from the first half of the year. During this time period you’ll compare your actual progress to goals to what you had hoped or anticipated. It is also a great time to inspire team members to refocus on data for the rest of the year, especially if you experience a shortage of information where you thought there would be more.
I'm excited to share 7 ways that can help unlock the potential of data not being used at your organization as you look to build a strategy around your data for the second half of the year (Source). Enjoy the first 5 tips below, then download our guide on how to make your organization more data-driven for the final two as well as other tips and tricks.
- Address and improve data quality
When was the last time you collected fresh data? Checked for inconsistencies or gaps? Invest in the quality of your data now so it is accurate.
- Lower the cost of access to information
To be effective, data should be easily accessible. If your team has to jump through hoops to see information, they are less likely to use it. This includes data from all parts of your organization - not just one department.
- Improve the way in which information is presented
Use dashboards to filter the information you share with leadership, sharing only relevant details. Data visualizations are also helpful to show progress or context toward goals.
- Make information easier to find
One centralized library of data and information makes it easier for your team to sort and find data. A barrier to utilizing information is the need to consult multiple sources.
- Increase the speed at which information is available
How fast can partners access the right information that will enhance their decision-making skills or allow them to answer key questions from other stakeholders?
Get the last two steps and more information on the advantages of being data-driven: