Data sits at the centre of your social value.
It’s how you establish trust with buyers, staff, and customers. It influences the decisions you make, helping you better allocate your resources and create more meaningful services. High-quality data can be the key to unlocking funding, winning contracts, and generating even more social good. And, naturally, as you scale up your organisation’s social impact, you’re going to want to capture more of it.
But capturing and analysing social value data can be a tedious, admin-heavy process. One that can be a strain on your already stretched staff. Even if you do have the time and resources to spare, some actions can be hard to pin down and measure. So you’re left scratching your head about how best to capture your full, growing impact.
We want to help. So we thought we’d share some of our top tips for unlocking even more social value data.
One of the biggest barriers when it comes to scaling up data collection is frameworks. Nothing stifles your progress like a strict framework determining what you can and can’t measure.
While frameworks are great for providing structure and guidance at the beginning of your social value journey, they quickly become restrictive as your efforts mature and expand. You end up tied into themes and measures that aren’t directly applicable or relevant to the activities you’re trying to track. And as a result, the data you come away with is unreliable and inaccurate.
Equally, you might not capture any data at all regarding certain initiatives. Simply because there are no proxies available to you. And this can leave sizable gaps in your data and reporting. You’re working hard to have an impact in so many ways. And you want every single action to be accounted for.
By opting for a framework-independent approach, you maintain full freedom and creativity about what data you collect. Regardless of the action being taken, you can import or build relevant measures to suit. No more compromising on the quality or quantity of your data.
Automate as much as possible
Your staff only has so many working hours in a day. And to have more social value data, it means more time spent collecting, organising, and analysing it. You could add the responsibility to your staff’s plate, taking their attention away from more critical human-facing tasks. Or, you can turn to automation to fill the gaps.
Tools such as bulk data import and automatic conversions provide a more reliable, scalable approach to social value. They minimise the risk of human error and are far more efficient than waiting for your staff to wade through hundreds of spreadsheets.
Similarly, they help you to move quicker. Rather than waiting for data to be inputted manually and the relevant conversions applied, your staff always have access to real-time data and progress. It gives them more time to spend on activities that do need that human touch, like speaking with beneficiaries or consulting with local charities.
Lean on your staff and supply chain
Social value is a group effort. Every member of staff and external supplier contributes. So why would you put the responsibility of data capture on one staff member or team?
Data capture is more sustainable and scalable when you share the responsibility. When you allow your staff and supply chain to log their own data, you ensure you never miss an action or input.
To achieve this, you want to simplify the process of logging data. You can even use progress charts and leaderboards to make your staff want to get involved and work towards your goals. By building surveys, you can also make capturing supplier data easier. You can send out the surveys at scale, and use reminders and notifications to increase the response rate.
By cutting out the middleman and letting people log their own data, you’ll be able to gather more in the long-run. But not only that, you’ll get more accurate, timely data too. Staff will no longer have to chase colleagues or suppliers for the latest insights.
Scaling up your social value means wrangling even more data. And when your process is already filled with inefficiencies, this can be a scary thought. Instead, you want to find smart ways to unlock even more data. By ditching your framework, leaning on automation, and your staff and suppliers, you’ll find yourself with more quality data to draw from.
Impact makes capturing, evaluating, and reporting your social impact easy. An intuitive, framework-independent platform, we use powerful automation and smart tools to simplify your entire social value process. To find out more, schedule a demo, or get in touch with the team on 0161 532 4752.