2016 brings a new urgency in perfecting how Charities collect data
Posted by Paul Marriner
Charities must dedicate people to developing a digital donor engagement strategy to improve donor engagement in the coming year. Many are on the verge of a tipping point where transformation is essential to create a new operating model that will meet customer/donor demands. By embracing new technology and donor-first digital efforts to connect people and systems with each other and with information, they can communicate with donors and show how they are making a difference.
As such, 2016 brings a new urgency in perfecting how data is collected, how to maximize data collection, and what data cannot be collected. If something is valuable to a charity, that value is wasted on a spreadsheet for example. Today’s enterprise software is transitioning from merely processing transactions to performing self-driving business analysis that recognizes patterns, finds anomalies and suggests solutions. These applications are sophisticated, powerful tools that can help propel charities to effectively measure volunteer and programme impact. By making better use of the data they have and integrating it with the business management system, charities can gain greater insight into the behaviour and preferences of donors that will feed and personalize marketing efforts.
Managers, controllers, auditors, everyone from the CFO down, should have access to evidence and documentation from a single, shared storage and management facility. Colleagues can then share fresh data as it develops. Employee interfaces are becoming consumer grade, so data can be entered easily, accurately and consistently at the time it’s created. Information should be immediately available in real time, organization-wide. Through simpler, purpose-built tools that can be used and shared by everyone, employees and departments will collaborate and share task management across the entire organisation.
This new technology landscape is possible thanks to the emergence of post-modern ERP, or what we call self-driving ERP with analytics at its core. As we move away from transaction processing towards self-driving business applications, the way charities approach data collection has to change for analytics to be effective. Charities serious about a digital donor engagement strategy should look at how they bring different data streams together.