Scheme launches to improve data skills for small charities

Superhighways has linked up with organisations including DataKind UK to offer small charities a greater understanding of how they can use data.

Joe Lepper | 10th Jul 19
Image shows data visualisation - a new initiative helps improve data skills for small charities

An initiative is launching to help small charities in London to improve their digital skills and analysis of data.

On offer will be training, practical support and advice to support small charities in London use data better in their work and increase their social impact.

The scheme is being run by small charities support organisation Superhighways in partnership with DataKind UK, London Plus, HEAR as well as Makerble and working with the Greater London Authority. It is being funded by City Bridge Trust.

> See also: The best data resources for UK charities

Kate White, Manager, Superhighways said: “Data doesn’t have to be a scary word for small organisations: data can help charities determine where problems lie, solve them more efficiently, influence policy and unlock community potential to create and deliver services that meet local people’s needs.

“Our partnership will ensure that small social impact organisations aren’t left behind by their large charity or commercial counterparts by giving them access to the quality training, advice and specialist support they need to develop their data skills and knowledge, underpinned by strong digital capability.”

Inform decisions

The initiative will last for two years and cover issues such as helping charities to collect evidence, capture and analyse data to inform decisions, visualising data and creating case studies of good practice.

Dr Natasha Codiroli Mcmaster, Data and Intelligence Coordinator at London Plus, added: “London Plus are very excited to be involved in this fantastic initiative to help charities in London harness data more effectively.

“There are a vast number of open datasets and surveys that are not being used fully by London’s civil society sector. Charities can bring unique insights to the analysis and interpretation of this data through their on the ground knowledge and experience. Charities also collect a huge amount of data that could help complement insights from larger scale surveys, reaching groups often missed from government datasets.”

Improve impact

Giselle Cory, Executive Director at DataKind UK, said: “Responsible, informed data use can transform the impact of small charities, answering big questions – like who is using the charity’s services and what works and what doesn’t, and where there is unmet need. But using data well requires staff and volunteers to be confident in their abilities to make responsible use of data – which can be a challenge in small organisations that don’t have resources to invest. This programme will help those organisations build their know-how and confidence, and ultimately increase their impact.”