Countless businesses large and small have embraced data analytics as a foundational element of their decision-making process. The reason for this is simple — harnessing data effectively means making better choices and more money. However, improving profitability isn’t the only reason why big data matters, which is why non-profit organizations (NPOs) also should take advantage of it.
If anything, data and IT professionals at non-profits should be more interested in reaping the benefits that data analytics can provide. With limited resources and large populations of people depending on their services, non-profit institutions such as public school districts and charities need to squeeze as much value from every last dollar they spend.
These processes provide them with streamlined budget forecasting, greater recruitment and retention capabilities, and enhanced outreach — among other benefits. In essence, the use of data in this fashion enables these organizations to work smarter, not harder.
Analytical Strategies That Work Best for Non-Profits
There are four main types of data analytics that have been found to provide non-profit groups with the greatest value. These are:
– Predictive: This uses trends found in data to predict future outcomes.
– Diagnostic: Used to find connections between variables to provide insight into why something happened, this technique often troubleshoots initiatives after the fact.
– Descriptive: Normally used to compare performance between different periods of time, this format provides a detailed look into matters.
– Prescriptive: Machine learning gives this strategy the capability to forecast outcomes and suggest courses of action that may be the most successful.
How Using Data Can Benefit Your NPO
There are numerous ways in which your organization may be able to realize smoother operations and greater success through the application of one or more of these techniques. For instance, it can help you gain a better handle on how you spend funds by recognizing areas where greater efficiency could be achieved.
It also has the potential to optimize your fundraising by identifying areas of opportunity that may not have been as obvious without it. You also can take advantage of it to help you recruit and retain volunteers more effectively by spotting those who would be the best candidates based on their prior involvement.
As a data or IT professional, you don’t need to be concerned about the bottom line to realize how much advanced data analytics can do for you. Even non-profits are taking advantage of everything these models have to offer, and so can yours. To learn more about the benefits they can provide, take a look at the accompanying resource.
Infographic created by Sylogist, a fund accounting software company