Data is one of the most valuable assets in a non-profit organization. However, many non-profits don’t know how to translate this raw data into usable business intelligence.
When it comes to making data work for your non-profit, it’s essential that you get the right person on the task. You wouldn’t call a plumber to fix an electrical problem, so why is your receptionist or intern trying to analyze your data? The reality is, you need to hire someone with the specific skill set required to interpret and analyze your data. You need a data geek.
Here are eight reasons to invest in your very own data geek:
1. To Convert Your Data Into Knowledge
Your data geek can perform a statistical analysis of your raw data and transform it into information that everyone can understand using charts, graphs, and reports to help your organization make better decisions.
2. To Increase The Effectiveness Of Your Marketing Campaigns
Your data geek will trawl through the numbers generated from your advertising campaigns and tell you what’s working and what’s not. With a tight advertising budget, this is important.
3. To Get Rid of Faulty Assumptions
We humans have a very bad habit of clinging to beliefs based on incomplete information. Faulty assumptions about your donors can have a big impact on your bottom line.
For example, maybe you think you don’t need to engage with baby boomers and matures on social media because they aren’t online very much. On the surface, this belief has a certain logic; however, it has never held up in marketing research. Your data geek will help rid your organization of faulty assumptions, so you can make better informed decisions.
4. To Identify Gaps In The Market
The ability to identify new market opportunities and jump on them is essential for a non-profit organization. Data analysis of social media trends can give your non-profit key insights into where to primarily focus your efforts.
5. To Analyze The Effectiveness of Your Street Team
If your non-profit uses a street team to support your fundraising, your data geek can map out the key areas to target for best results.
6. To Uncover Impact of Your Organization
When you explain your mission and impact, do you tend to talk in summary? Vague statements about “helping”, “improving”, or “enhancing” are great, but with the help of a data geek, you can show just how much you helped.
For example, you can change a sentence like “Last year, we helped farm families improve their incomes” to “Last year, we improved household income by 20% for 21,000 farm households, which means that your contribution helped 84,000 people.” Big difference, right?
7. To Increase Employee Effectiveness
A good data analyst can help to keep track of your team performance. If some of your staff are underperforming, your data geek will detect where the inefficiencies are most prevalent so that you can address them before they escalate.
8. To Find Hidden Gems in Your Database
A data geek will help you find donors in your database that are potential candidates for larger donations, monthly giving, or planned giving. For example, donors that have given small donations over a long period of time have the potential to convert into bigger donors in the near future. A data geek will be able to find these gems!
If you’re on a tight budget and wondering how you’ll ever afford a data geek, consider hiring an intern or volunteer who has a knack for numbers. The important thing is that you hire someone specifically for this role, rather than lumping it onto the workload of another employee. Also look for a database that can do some of this analysis automatically for you, like Sumac!