Yesterday, I had the pleasure of doing a webinar on measurement and nonprofit for Kivi at the Nonprofit Marketing Guide. One of the questions I was asked, ”Why Data Informed? Why Not Data-Driven?”
In our book, “Measuring the Networked Nonprofit“,’ KD Paine and I explain how being data-informed is something very different from a data-driven culture. The term “data-driven” has been used to describe organizations that rely solely on cold hard data to make decisions. Being data-driven sounds great—in theory. But, because it doesn’t acknowledge the importance of basing decisions on multiple information sources, it can doom an organization to epic failures.
Eric Petersen was one of the first of the data geeks that I’ve read to suggest that the phrase “data-informed” is a far more useful label. Data-informed describes agile, responsive, and intelligent businesses that are better able to succeed in a rapidly changing environment. The concept of being data-informed resonates with nonprofit and public sector practitioners as well. Data-informed cultures are not slaves to their data. Mario Morino uses the phrase “information-based introspection” to refer to using and applying data in context to excel.
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Via Chuck Sherwood, Senior Associate, TeleDimensions, Inc