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nten workbook getting started with data driven decision making editable 2 1

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  Getting Started with Data-Driven   Decision Making: A Workbook JANUARY 2 13  An NTEN Workbook prepared by  www .n ten.o r g | 1020 SW Taylor Street | Suite 800 | Portland, Oregon 97205 | p: 415.397.9000 | f : 415.814.4056  Over the last few years, NTEN has been working with nonprofits to understand how to better wrangle all the   data they’re creating and that’s available to them into improved results—more mission impact. In 2010, we organized an online workshop we affectionately titled “T aming the Data Monster .” That workshop focused on the data and “story” side of the equation: how to translate the data you have into a snapshot of the work you are doing today (and yesterday). The workshop was designed for the Communications and IT Staff who have   the task of collecting and distributing data in effective and meaningful ways. But what about the steps anorganization has to take before collecting or analyzing the data? How do we determine which data matters in the   first place, and how that data will impact the direction of our work?In 2012, NTEN was able to survey a sample of US nonprofits to find out how they were doing when it comes to   being data-driven: were they collecting data and tracking metrics? Were they finding that data useful for makingorganizational decisions? With the financial support of Google and the research expertise of Idealware, we published the 2012 S tate of  Nonprofit Data report which indicated that nonprofits weren’t having success with   those strategic steps in the equation: almost all nonprofits were collecting and tracking some type of metrics, but only a small fraction were finding that data useful for making decisions that impacted their programmatic work. Clearly, there was a disconnect between the tactical work of collecting and tracking data and the strategic work of defining and using the data for the organization’s mission. With this workbook, we hope to provide nonprofit leaders with a set of worksheets that will help guide thinking and planning around more effective data strategies . While these worksheets are part of the strategic process of defining the right questions, metrics, and plans for    effecting data-driven decisions, and this workbook is designed for nonprofit leaders—executive directors, board members, and other organizational leadership staff who develop strategies and are responsible for making organizational decisions—it will be helpful to include input and discussion from various staff. For example,   worksheets 4 and 5, especially, could benefit from input from your program, communications, and data or IT   team members.Overall, we acknowledge that it’s important that your entire team buys-in to the strategy—data collection, analysis, and reiteration is a cultural shift for many of us, and it’s something that can’t be done once or    intermittently or inconsistently across your organization if we’re going to be more effective. All of this takes   investment of time and resources as well as vision. That’s why this workbook includes worksheets that will help you think through the “onboarding” and budgeting processes as well.You may want to go through this workbook separately for various projects or go through it again to re-define   or update your metrics. In any case, we hope you’ll find this workbook helpful for launching or improving data strategies that will impact your organization’s work.We’d like to thank Google for providing financial support for this project, and Idealware for helping us producethis workbook. Annaliese Hoehling Publications Director, NTEN Introductio GETTING STARTED WITH DATA-DRIVEN DECISION-MAKING · JANUARY 2013  W elcome ................................................................................................................................................................. 2Worksheets 1. Define Y our Action Question ..................................................................................................................... 3 2. What Does This Question Mean T o Y our Organization? ................................................................................ 5 3. How Will Y ou Know What the Right Metrics Ar e? .................................................................................... 6 4. What Could Y ou Measur e? ............................................................................................................................ 7 5. What Data Do Y ou Have? .............................................................................................................................. 9 6. F ind The Metrics That Make Sense F or Y ou ......................................................................................... 10 7.The Metric Creation P rocess ............................................................................................................................... 118. Define a P rocess for Using Them to Make Decisions .................................................................................. 12 9. Create an Implementation Action Plan.........................................................................................................13 About NTEN and Idealware...................................................................................................................................15 Table of PAGE 1 GETTING STARTED WITH DATA-DRIVEN DECISION-MAKING · JANUARY 2013
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