Free tool on offer to analyse charities' use of data

The tool, from the social enterprise Data Orchard, uses questionnaires to identify areas for improvement

Charity workers are being invited to use a new free tool to help them understand how they are using data.

Data Orchard, a social enterprise that works primarily with charities to help them use data for good, has launched the tool after research it conducted in 2016 showed that charities were struggling with data.

The tool gives each charity a report on how it is using data and if they can improve, based on analysis of either a five-minute or a 20-minute questionnaire, which examine subjects such as data, analysis, leadership, tools and skills.

The report will give suggestions on two or three areas for improvement, while the report for the 20-minute questionnaire also includes benchmarking data so charities can see how they are performing compared with other organisations.

Sian Basker, co-chief executive at Data Orchard, said there was a lack of awareness among charities of what constituted good use of data.

"Data is something lots of third-sector organisations really struggle with," she said.

"It’s complex, time-consuming and expensive, and an area from whcih few really reap the rewards and benefits. The self-assessment tool helps them ask the right questions and identify where to focus their efforts to improve."

The tool is free for those who want to use it on an individual basis within their charities or in a small group of no more than six people. But for charities that wish to use the tool across their organisation it costs £500 plus VAT. 

For more information and to use the tool, click here.

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