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By admin on 3/19/2014
Design experts understand that great design addresses every product detail. Think about companies that are experts at design – Bose, Apple, Kohler – how do we integrate great design into reporting and analytics? We read mixed case 15%-20% faster than upper case. The mind recognizes letters and additionally the shapes of words. Concepts like this are very important since ease of use is a critical aspect of design. A piece of information should be able to convey its principle message in just a few seconds. We want our consumers to “reach the brand” or “engage the brand” and design helps them to do this. Information should adhere to the organization’s brand –design your information so it has credibility, the right focus, conveys the right message and has an effective brand. Are colors you use in graphs using the same color palette as your logo? Good design helps viewers organize information easily. One approach is to have a style guide or standards so your information has the same look and feel. If the report…
By admin on 3/14/2014
Ignaz Semmelweis changed the world by showing that if doctors washed their hands there was a much smaller chance of transmitting infections. This discovery, like many others was based on data. People that did calculations with data during the life of Ignaz were called computers. Over time, the meaning of computer has obviously changed as machines have taken over the mundane calculating, but people are still using their powers of questions and curiosity to discover answers to problems. Machines are challenged when it comes to making inferences – humans are more comfortable with the semantic inferences involved in relating data to decisions. Think about how people use spreadsheets – many that have “grown up” with spreadsheets often look at formulas to make sure that they are correct – but they may stop at that point. Even if the formulas are working, this doesn’t provide insight into stories that the information may be telling. In this case we may be relying too much on the machine for insight. We need…
By admin on 3/7/2014
Fundraising analytics may be defined or termed as “closed loop decision making.” Analytics help focus on making the right decisions, based on past, present and predictive data. This is a holistic view – not just focused on predicting the future using predictive models but combining many data points to point us in the right direction. For major gift shops, how do we re-align gift officer portfolios and focus our gift officers on the right donors? Which major gift officers will donors respond more effectively to? Which unit in the organization, such as athletics should a prospect be assigned? How can analytics inform this decision and how should we subsequently code this in our system? A successful analytics program needs to have a roadmap; it just doesn’t happen on its own. A roadmap needs to leverage changes in processes, people, data quality, have appropriate governance and sponsorship, be pragmatic. The roadmap needs to provide the right people with the right information and help them make business decisions…


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