Charities missing out on data revolution, says NPC report
The charity sector is not yet taking full advantage of the opportunities presented by data, NPC has said in a new report published today.
In The power of data: Is the charity sector ready to plug in? the charity think tank and consultancy finds that charities are not making the most of the different types of data sets available to them— including open data and big data— despite their potential to help them understand the issues they work on better, operate more effectively, and improve their understanding of results and impact.
NPC has identified key factors which are preventing charities from tapping into the potential of data.
On the supply side, more progress needs to be made around making data available, particularly in a way that is useful and accessible to charities.
The picture on the demand side is more complex, and the key barriers outlined in The power of data are:
Awareness: charities and funders need to be aware of the potential of data sets that are relevant to their work and publically available (or that could be requested), and how to access these.
Capability: Most charities don’t have specialised analysts or research departments, so making the most of data can be difficult as at the minimum it requires someone with an aptitude for, and interest in, analysis.
Capacity: Data analysis is difficult and requires resource. Frontline charities rarely have the time and money for this, or the funding to bring it in externally.