Less than half of non-profits make full use of the data they collect

A new report from Salesforce.org shows the gap between the data charities’ collect and their ability to use it, as the company will explain in its upcoming webinar.

Chloe Green | 18th Sep 18
Image shows person collecting fish with a net. Less than half of non-profits make full use of the data they collect.

Less than half of non-profit organisations say they’re able to effectively analyse the data they collect, according to a new report from Salesforce.org.

The Nonprofit Trends Report surveyed 461 decision-makers at charitable organisations in the UK, US, Canada and Australia/New Zealand, examining how charities use technology for programme delivery, engagement and impact measurement.

It found that although more than half (53%) of non-profit organisations globally find it easy to collect programme data, there is a significant gap between data collection and their ability to put it into action.


The ‘dark data’ opportunity

Statistics from IBM in 2016 estimate that around 80% of all data collected by organisations fall into the category of ‘dark data’- information assets that organisations collect but that they fail to use for analysis or building better relationships.

In a charity context, this could include a myriad of different information types from service delivery and beneficiary data, to donor data, marketing and website behaviour data, and impact evaluation results.

For time-strapped charities focused on the day-to-day work of furthering their mission, taking charge of their unused data can be a low priority.

However, sitting on all this unused data can present an untapped mine of insight for charities of all sizes wishing to understand more about potential donors, increase their impact with service users, and better demonstrate their efforts to funders and other important stakeholders.

Over the last few years charities have been embracing increasingly sophisticated automated solutions to data management and analysis. Even smaller charities like children’s mentoring charity, Chance UK, are now making use of these tools to streamline the way they deliver services and generate successful funding reports.


Where to learn more

Salesforce.org’s report outlines how charities can grasp the opportunities behind their data, embracing ways to organise, process and analyse it.

If your charity is collecting data but struggling to find time and resources to analyse it, Salesforce.org and Charity Digital News are hosting a webinar next month that will break down the key lessons from the Nonprofit Trends Report, so you can learn how to get more from your data and increase efficiency across your organisation.

Sign up for the free webinar here.