Our top tips for improving your social value data integrity

As your approach to social value matures, you’ll find yourself juggling more and more data. This brings with it a few extra challenges. As the amount you have increases, so too does the admin required to capture, analyse, and report on it. Not to mention the greater risk of it becoming out of date as you race to use it before it’s irrelevant. 

When you need it to secure investment, win contracts, or improve your service offering, the last thing you want is for it to halt your progress. Which is why data integrity matters. You want to do everything you can to ensure it is complete, consistent, and reliable. That from creation and analysis through to storage and archival, it all remains secure and accurate. 

And what better time to step up your data integrity than at the start of a brand new year? Here are four quick tips for improving your all-important social value data.

Automate as much as possible

To scale data capture, many organisations look to decentralise the process. They allow staff across their entire organisation (and perhaps even their wider supply chain) to input their own insights. It’s much easier to capture masses of it when you’re not reliant on one person or team to do it all. 

But when it comes from multiple angles like this, there’s more chance of human error. More people completing manual data entry, inputting figures into spreadsheets, and performing calculations can be a recipe for disaster. So you want to remove as much risk of this as possible. And that means looking to technology to fill the gaps.

Automating all (or at least some) of its capture and analysis will significantly reduce your chance of human errors impacting its quality.

You can definitely decentralise the process – in fact, we recommend it! But once that raw data goes in, ideally you want no more human interference to put you at risk. Instead, all organisation, analysis, evaluation, and even reporting can happen automatically using a robust platform. Technology will be far more reliable and consistent at handling complex impact data than humans – no matter how brilliant they might be at their job.

Aim for one central hub

This is going to sound counterproductive to our above point. But just like passing data through multiple people, passing it through too many tools and platforms can also lessen its quality. The solution? Strike a balance between automating as much as you can, while also keeping the number of different tools and technologies you use to a minimum.

Rather than combining data from multiple sources and calculations from different platforms, find one platform that can help you from start to finish.

By using a single hub, you generate more reliable and accurate insights. There’s no more comparing apples and oranges, combining two sets of data from different frameworks or calculators. This is also good because it keeps daily operations simpler for your staff.

Provide adequate training

As your process becomes more dependent on technology, you’re building an expectation for your staff to evolve and adapt, too. But not everyone is going to be confident with this change.

Instead of thrusting data responsibilities on staff who have no experience with it, make sure you’re providing adequate and accessible training to ensure they’re comfortable with your processes.

On anything you can’t automate, provide in-depth training to all staff members. This way, everyone can feel capable of completing their share of data entry, analysis, and reporting.

Act quickly

Social value data can quickly become irrelevant or outdated. But when you’re making critical business decisions with it, it just isn’t worth the risk.

Real-time data will always be best. So make sure you’ve got the systems and processes in place to put it to use as soon as possible.

Set strict, company-wide guidelines for how often you’ll monitor and report on progress. Who will be responsible for doing so? How often will you update reports? How long will you keep data before archiving it? Rather than saving it for annual reports, figure out ways to use it in the moment. After all, it will help you make the most informed, risk-averse decisions.

Not all social value data is made equal. To make the best possible decisions and have the greatest impact, you want to prioritise your data integrity. Which means that while increasing the quantity you capture and report, make sure you’re focusing on its quality, too.

Impact streamlines your social value process. An intuitive, framework-independent platform, we combine powerful automation and smart tools to save your staff time without compromising on progress. To find out more, schedule a demo, or get in touch with the team on 0161 532 4752.