We know that Big Data is fundamentally changing how companies make decisions and improve their performance, but many nonprofit organizations have lagged behind in this area.
Over a year ago, I set out on a journey to understand why nonprofits are not making more out of the hidden treasure in their data. What I found is compiled in the new book Data Driven Nonprofits.
Nonprofit organizations are vital to making meaningful change in the world and they have significant amounts of untapped potential in their data. But why do some nonprofits struggle to use data while others have successfully harnessed information to drive better decision making?
To answer this question, I spent time researching the habits, mindsets, and cultures of successful data driven nonprofits. Along the way, I interviewed more than 20 nonprofit experts from a wide variety of organizations.
I found successful data driven organizations across nearly every sub-sector including higher education, international relief, religious, medical research, healthcare, human services, mental health and crisis intervention, community improvement and capacity building, environmental, and animal welfare.
Over time there emerged five critical characteristics that each of these successful nonprofits had in common…