Quality of life in Herefordshire
The results of the 2018 Herefordshire's Quality of life survey have been generating great debate and food for thought in the county and the local press. Managed and driven by local not-for-profit organisations, this collaborative 'Data4Good' project is helping frame discussions about where to target precious resources and services. Community transport, social isolation, loneliness, unpaid care, personal well-being and spending time outdoors were all discussed - particularly opportunities for collaborating to resolve issues and how it fits with the Sustainable Route Map.
You can download some of the reports here:
Please get in touch if you're interested in finding out more.
Words to describe how people at the Cart Shed felt about data – before… and after
So, if you’re thinking of doing something similar, what are the key takeaways that we think are the critical factors in a successful project?
Spend time up front on diagnosis of the key problems. By taking a holistic overview of the situation, we were able to set out clear priorities and plan strategically for the future.
Leadership drive is crucial to success. Notably, in our data maturity assessments, The Cart Shed scored strongest for leadership, both at the outset and at the end of the project. The Board of trustees were highly supportive and engaged in the process too.
Courage and resilience are vital for getting through the challenges. Challenges like: people’s capacity to cope with rapid change whilst the organisation continued to grow and deliver services; frustrating hurdles with suppliers and tools; and the dismantling and reconstruction of the organisation’s purpose.
Take people with you! Overall, what made the project a real success was the ‘whole organisation’ engagement reflecting both culture and leadership. All members of the team were engaged in the process, staff, trustees and volunteers. Their openness and willingness to learn, to question, and to sometimes hold ground, was crucial to the project’s success.
Collaboration is key. The relationship between Data Orchard and The Cart Shed was highly collaborative. We used a co-design approach, and worked well together. People were communicative, responsive, friendly and kind. And we had lots of fun too!
Go ‘all-in’. One of the key reasons we think we saw such a shift in culture is that The Cart Shed really committed to the process. As well as numerous sessions, workshops and meetings, they gave over half their bi-annual summer review for us to present. This brought together around 40 volunteers, ex-service users, staff and trustees to discuss why data and analytics is such a big deal in the non-profit sector these days, what we mean by impact measurement and how The Cart Shed is going to measure and manage its impact in the future.
This level of commitment was invaluable to a project like this. It showed everyone that the leadership team were serious about embracing the changes they needed to make, and it helped get everyone ‘on the same page’ as to what and why changes were coming.
Find out more
If you want to find out more about Theory of change, there are some great resources on the recently launched Inspiring Impact website. Note this work has been funded by the Impact Management programme (of which Data Orchard is a registered provider) and by the Digital Impact programme, run by the Centre for Philanthropy and Civil Society at Stanford University.
Do you want your organisation to become more data savvy?
Organisations of all sizes can benefit from taking ownership of their data story. If your organisation is interested in becoming more data savvy, do get in touch with us at Data Orchard for a no-obligation chat.