Most ERP and business management systems have the ability to gather large quantities of data. However, data collection alone isn’t the goal for nonprofits. Without any analysis, you can’t turn raw data into information that can help you make better decisions for your organization.
Today’s data analysis and business intelligence tools for nonprofits are enabling organizations to measure the effectiveness of, and make improvements to, both daily operations and long-term programs. Here are a few examples of how your nonprofit can use data analytics to better achieve your mission.
1. Recognize donation patterns
Ultimately, your goal with any fundraising is to get the best ROI possible by spending less money to raise more money. Data analytics can help you achieve this on a whole new level by making it possible to precisely identify and focus on the donors who are most likely to give. You can also measure and monitor information such as number of donations received, donor or donation growth, or donations by channel.
2. Stay within budget
When you’re operating on a tight budget, it’s critical to have up-to-date information on your spending and the ability to measure it against your progress toward project goals. You can use data analytics to monitor spending as it happens and quickly get an overview of expenses or drill down to see the details. You can also set benchmarks and alerts so decision-makers in your organization know immediately if spending reaches a certain level.
3. Measure program outcomes
Fulfilling your mission isn’t just a one-step deal, it’s the cumulative impact of countless small projects and actions that work towards achieving your desired outcomes. With data analytics, you can quantitatively measure program outcomes at a new level of detail. Monitor metrics such as progress towards project goals, number of people reached, and beneficiary satisfaction.
Data analysis tools also make it much easier to measure big-picture information such as program expenses versus total operating expenses, and year-over-year growth for your whole organization.
4. Track effectiveness of workers and projects
With data analytics tools, you can track employee progress towards goals, and even give employees access to personalized dashboards so they can see information relevant to their jobs. Help everyone stay on board with what’s happening and give them information to help them complete tasks more efficiently.
At an administrative level, it can also be extremely helpful to track absenteeism, employee retention, employee satisfaction, and other variables to measure your work culture. Your organization works hard to raise money - make sure you aren’t spending all of it recruiting, hiring, and training new talent.
5. Manage volunteer efforts
How effective are volunteers at helping your organization achieve its goals? How effectively are you recruiting volunteers in the first place? Are your volunteers satisfied with their experience? How often do they return?
Answers to these questions can have a big effect on how your organization operates and where you dedicate your time and resources. Data analytics can help you quantitatively learn the answers to these questions, and track things as they change over time.
Want to learn more about data analysis for your nonprofit?
OTT, Inc. has a proven record of helping nonprofits use cutting-edge technology to achieve their goals. Our 5-step methodology, Trusted Partner Path, ensures that your technology investments help your organization thrive for long-term success. Contact us today to talk to an expert about data analytics and nonprofit ERP solutions.