Data, reporting & business intelligence - getting started

When considering what system your organisation needs to gain data intelligence of your services, start by asking what insights am I looking for?
Data, reporting and business intelligence - getting started

According to the Digital Technology in the Non-for-Proft Sector 2020 report, 71% of respondents agreed that their primary system allowed them to capture valuable data about clients and services. However, only 44% of not-for-profits reported their primary systems allow them to understand the impact of their work. While this is an encouraging increase of 7% year-on-year, there’s room for improvement in the not-for-profit sector.

So how do you harness the power of your collected data to drive improvements in your organisation? As data explodes, businesses that use it to drive decision-making are reaping the benefits. In fact, a total of 78% of non-for-profits with advanced analytics capabilities reported that they perform their missions with much greater efficiency, according to an IBM executive report on analytics.

Data intelligence/analytics offers specific benefits to the not-for-profit sector, including:

  • Improved membership recruitment and retention through deeper insights into membership characteristics and preferences
  • More effective fundraising and outreach by identifying fundraising prospects, providing insight into the most effective fundraising methods and most favourable target markets, ensuring campaigns target those most likely to donate, generating efficiencies and helping determine where to best allocate resources
  • Better accountability and reporting by providing the big picture of operations that helps not-for-profits understand the impact of staffing choices and asset management
  • Improved budgeting and forecasting by streamlining processes.

Starting out on data projects

Our Community has produced Developing Data Capability in Your Not-for-Profit to help guide you through the six types of data that not-for-profit organisations most often work with — such as fundraising data and program data — and what you can do with this data.

The framework outlines the types of data that are likely to exist in a not-for-profit organisation and examines how they can maximise social impact by building the skills and capabilities required to effectively manage their data.

The framework should be used as a starting point to help get your organisation thinking about data before embarking on data projects. Most not-for-profit organisations recognise the potential of data, but fewer know how to start putting this data to good use.

Getting going

Next, take a look at Data Projects from Go to Whoa! This guide can help get things rolling and ensure your data projects are as successful and sustainable as they can be.

You'll begin the step-by-step process by developing an understanding of data science and scoping projects and learning how to ask the right questions. Next, you’ll learn to lay the foundations for project success, and make sure you've got the right tools and skills at hand. They talk about deriving insights from data — and overcoming any obstacles that crop up.

Finally, as you wrap up your project, Our Community discusses how you can keep up your momentum and move forward strategically. Along the way, Our Community's Innovation Lab can provide free advice and support.

Going further

If you're looking for a free solution to easily capture your report your impact, Impactasaurus is well worth investigating. It is easy to use and inexpensive software designed to help small and medium size charities measure and understand their social impact, demonstrate value to stakeholders and drive service improvements.

To achieve this vision, we are creating 

Data, reporting, business intelligence and outcomes to enhance services webinar
In this webinar, explore how organisations can leverage their data and look at cost-effective business intelligence tools to get started on the BI journey.

Case studies
Our Community has worked with several Melbourne-based not-for-profit organisations to help them have greater impact.

Our Community mailing list
Get regular updates about upcoming events and tutorials run by the Our Community Innovation Lab.

Our Community data science tutorial
A gentle introduction to data science for not-for-profit organisations interested in becoming more data-driven.

Data science events
Come along to Our Community upcoming events and get to know others who share a desire to strengthen our society.

How can business intelligence help NFPs create evidence-based decisions webinar
Learn how a simple Business Intelligence tool can help you with making more informed decisions regarding transparency, planning, grant application and sustainability for managing your workforce.

Power BI 102 training course
2-3 hours. In this course, we’ll be taking a closer look at Power BI service and mobile apps. 

Power BI 201 – Dealing with Data course
3-5 hours. In this course, you will learn how to effectively find and collect data from different sources and how to clean and transform it.

Power BI 202 – Visualising & Sharing Data course
4-6 hours. In this course, you will learn how to effectively use Power BI's data visualisation tools.

Tableau free consultation
Tableau Service Corps is a volunteer network of Tableau experts eager to help non-profits do more with their data.

Tableau free training
Learn how to prepare, analyze, and share your data.

Harness the Power of Data with Tableau
Learn how to harness the power of data to tell your organization's story with Tableau!

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