How to make your data more meaningful

It takes time, money and expertise to collect and analyse data. Making your data meaningful means getting the most out of it—and getting the most out of the scarce resources allocated to collecting and analysing it. This briefing is a simple how-to for charities on maximising their use of data and, as a result, the work of their organisations.

Charities can collect a lot of data—data on their services, their users, and their outputs. But this data is only really meaningful if organisations can understand what it tells them about their activities, and can use it to improve services.

This briefing is a simple how-to for charities, to help them maximise their use of data and therefore the work of their organisations. It covers:

  • What is meant by ‘meaningful’ data, and why charities should strive for it
  • How charities can get started making their data more meaningful
  • Some top tips and examples of charities who have worked to enhance their data

This report is a write-up of an event that took place as part of NPC’s seminar series—in partnership with Kingston Smith—designed to give charities an introduction to various aspects of impact measurement. For more from this series, keep an eye on our twitter page @NPCthinks and the event hashtag #impactseminar, or see the events section of our website.

MORE PUBLICATIONS IN THIS SERIES

Reporting when things don’t go to plan

What does good economic analysis look like?

Result! What good impact reporting looks like

Keeping it in proportion: Impact measurement for small charities

Stories and numbers: Collecting the right impact data

Measuring your campaigning impact: An introduction

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