Collecting, storing and managing information in a responsible and respectful way underpins digital maturity.

Data helps organisations understand their supporters, beneficiaries, clients, donors and advocacy targets. Data helps them make evidence-based business and social impact decisions, in the short, medium and long term. Data helps drive an organisation’s impact.

Organisations need to know how their audiences interact with them. They need to know which channels people use, for what, 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. All in the service of an organisation achieving its vision.

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

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 of the organisation’s journey, a project, campaign or an audience journey. Armed with these insights they can plan the next campaign or the next product or the next five year strategy. ​

Things to think about

  • How easy is it for you to create insights about your audience’s behaviours, based on multiple sources of data (eg email, donations and actions data)?
  • Does your organisation have reliable sources of data about the context of its work?
  • Are new projects based on this data evidence?
  • Does data reporting (beyond fundraising) feature in your team’s or organisation’s decision-making?

Data: five levels of maturity

1. Chaotic

Data in the organisation is scattered and online and offline activity data is used in isolation from each other.

2. Understood

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

3. Developing

There’s a clear policy for data management. Data is integrated across most areas of work and analysed.

4. Literate

Quality, integrated data is used across much of the organisation to understand performance of activities.

5. Driven

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

Average score

Overall, for this competency, organisations average out at level 2.5.

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 44% 44%