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Impact decisions made with data.

Will Dayble on 25th Nov, 2016

Social impact folks are surprisingly bad at making data-driven decisions.

We want to be good with data, but it doesn’t always happen in practice. Have you ever heard someone say this?

“Oh, I'm a real numbers person...”

The tricky thing about numbers people, according to Bessi Graham, CEO of The Difference Incubator, is this:

“They're not actually ‘numbers people’. They want a story with some big numbers in it.”

When it comes down to it, using data doesn’t always happen, and the people that ask for it don’t always want to see the results.

Here’s an example:

We collect basic data about what our students want to learn when they first make an account at fitzroyacademy.com, with this:

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This data tells us what subjects are most popular:

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But it doesn’t tell us about the impact of creating more lessons within those areas, only that people want to learn these skills.

We haven’t figured out how to draw a causal link between wanting to learn a new technical skill and applying that skill.

This is why we’ve made a Social Outcomes Report lesson.

Bessi’s created a surprisingly simple process for laying out the work you're doing and tracing through the outcomes you’re making.

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Check out Bessi’s lesson

It’s well worth it.

Our team here has used Bessi’s process for our own work and it’s really helped us think deeper about the impact we are - or aren't - making.

Good luck!

- W.



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