In the last three years we’ve seen a notable improvement in how UK charities and social enterprises harness data. We know that it can be a powerful tool for driving social change. However, we also recognize that adopting data on an organizational level is often a slow, laborious and sometimes painful process; one that typically entails a shift in thinking among leadership, acquiring new skills and talent, breaking down data silos and raising awareness about what data can do across an organization.
To help charities better understand and alleviate the challenges of incorporating data into their efforts, DataKind UK wanted to build a data maturity framework. In partnership with Data Orchard, a small UK-based research consultancy, we undertook the Data Evolution project to map out the journey towards data maturity. It was supported by Nesta, Teradata, Esmée Fairbairn Foundation and Access – The Foundation for Social Investment.
As part of the project we ran two workshops, surveyed 200 social sector organizations, carried out in-depth assessments with 47 people from 12 social sector organizations and developed a framework documenting the five stages we identified these organizations go through as they adopt new data practices and become more data savvy.
You can learn more about the project here and also explore the maturity framework itself here. If you're interested in reading more about our data maturity initiative as well as similar work being developed for local government, here's a great post we co-wrote with Nesta you should check out.