Analytics and Your Fundraising Objectives
We’re at a point where there’s so much more data every day and less analytics.
One of huge differences in political fundraising over the last few years is the incredible impact of good information required to raise huge amounts of money. Analytics is not about technology – it’s about people – people that make decisions such as voters. Executives and management make decisions about how to sell to the people that make decisions. Hasbro manages about 1,500 brands of toys and needs to understand which is more profitable, which sell more which will trend higher in the sales mix in the future.
How do you bring a new product to a market such as a major fundraising campaign? People are not watching television, not reading newspapers as much and are looking at the Internet. In this day and age there may be 15 to 20 channels that we need to use to market a campaign. It’s increasingly challenging to collect and understand the appropriate metrics to have the necessary holistic understanding of how it all ties together. It’s easy to understand what we want as outcomes of a campaign – are we able to deliver the information in a way that changes the outcomes with donors making decisions about giving?
Too much data can be the same as having no data.
Trending in business intelligence is changing and moving towards the ideas of deploying information down to the tactical and organizational levels of the organization to help them do their job more effectively. How do we deliver analytics directly to the fundraiser to help them be more effective in their job? How do we inform the gift processing staff about their effectiveness and how to improve it? What does it mean to deliver analytics to the end prospect or donor – to enhance the relationship with the donor and the fundraiser and show the donor their impact?
Check out Boston About Results, http://www.cityofboston.gov/bar/home.asp web site. It has metrics from activities the city is undertaking based on their goals, shows how they’re doing and posts this on a public web site. Transparency will drive change. What you measure improves. You see what’s good and you see what’s bad. It’s a good demonstration of taking metrics used to manage all the way back to the end consumer. Do we employ the same types of stewardship systems that give donors direct and up-to-date information on what we’re doing with their money?
The Stone Age was marked by man’s use of crude tools; the information age has been marked by man’s crude use of clever tools. Powerful tools – do we know how to use them – do we have the right tools? User expectations have increased – analytics and intelligent data is how you unlock the value.
What are the three key drivers we all need to think about over the coming years to unlock the information contained in our massive amounts of data?
1. How do I stay informed?
2. How do I align the data with our strategic, operational and tactical goals?
3. How do we adapt to the increasing amount of change and innovation by using analytics?
Yodobashi.com uses data to provide recommendations to customers as they walk into their store. This will be the trend of the future. The customer needs to be the one we inform. Fresh Direct found that parking tickets are one of the biggest cost factors in their business. They mapped out parking ticket locations and were then able to better manage and reduce the number of tickets.
Our fundraising is competing with every other consumer desire and we need to be competitive. Point number 3 will be critical to our survival. It’s easier to talk about billions of terabytes rather than zetabytes. There is an explosion in data and much of it is unstructured and will become progressively difficult to deal with. What signals get lost and what are the “signal to noise” ratios that we need to be concerned about. Those that can do this will be able to adapt to the future.