The collection, storage and management of information are important aspects of digital. Doing these things responsibly and respectfully is vital. 

Data helps organisations understand their supporters, beneficiaries, donors and advocacy targets. This, in turn, makes them more effective.

Data enables evidence-based business and social impact decisions. It does this on both a day-to-day and a long-term basis.

Organisations need to know how people interact with them. They need to know which channels people use and how often. Armed with this intelligence, organisations can design appropriate journeys. Good user journeys satisfy people’s needs and wants and encourage long-term engagement.

Performance data is essential for learning, iterating and improving. It can show how well the organisation is delivering its programmes and services.

To provide useful insights, data needs to be clean. It must also be collected and stored in a secure and compliant way. 

Organisations need technology, processes and skills that bring together data from many sources. They also need to create digestible reports that tell a story.

Things to think about

  • How easy is it for you to email everyone who has opened an email but hasn’t taken action within a day of that email being sent?
  • Is the implementation of GDPR compliance in your organisation enabling you to communicate better with your audiences, or is it stopping you from doing the basics, such as sending emails to subscribers, advertising on Facebook?
  • Does your organisation have an open data policy?
  • Does your organisation have reliable sources of data about the context of its work? Are new projects based on the evidence of this data?

Data: five levels of maturity

1. Chaotic

Data in the organisation is scattered and largely about offline activity.

2. Understood

Data is seen as important for the organisation. Quality and use is improving in some areas.

3. Developing

There’s a clear policy for data management. Data is integrated and analysed.

4. Literate

Quality, integrated data is used across much of the organisation.

5. Driven

Live data is used across the organisation to shape decisions and performance.

Average score

Overall, for this competency, organisations average out at level 2.6.

Scores by year

These graphs show the average scores for this competency over the last few years, expressed as a percentage.

  • 2020 52% 52%
  • 2019 52% 52%
  • 2018 52% 52%
  • 2017 50% 50%
  • 2016 46% 46%