Nonprofits and Data

last person joined: 2 days ago 

This group is for those interested in learning and sharing about all things data-related for nonprofits. The Nonprofits and Data group is for people using data to serve a mission, either directly or by improving nonprofits and the nonprofit sector. That includes everything from collecting data and managing databases to analytics, data visualization and data mining. Here are some examples of topics we discuss: using data to improve organizational effectiveness, measuring impact, using data for storytelling, tools for data management and analysis, figuring out the “right” data to collect, and learning skills to help us use data better.

Topic: Data Analysis Tools? 

1.  Data Analysis Tools?

Posted 10 days ago
Hello! Newbie to the group :) I tried searching this in the archives but I think I'm not using the right search terms. We are looking for a tool that will help us store survey data and analyze it. We use Salesforce but not sure if it's the right tool to store data from long surveys that we send out to the same group (alumni) every year. We used Survey Monkey to send the survey and we can do some basic reporting within survey monkey, but looking for something more sophisticated that will allow us to compare data year over year.

Thanks!

------------------------------
Aparna Kothary
Primary Contact
Global Citizen Year
Oakland, CA
------------------------------


2.  RE: Data Analysis Tools?

Posted 10 days ago
Hello and welcome Aparna,
Choice of tools comes down to the data you're looking to track. MailChimp provides basic email campaign data (sends, bounces, opens, click-throughs) but what else are you looking for?

------------------------------
Gregg Banse
Director of Marketing & Business Development
Lake Champlain Maritime Museum
Vergennes, Vermont
http://www.lcmm.org
https://greggbanse.com
------------------------------



3.  RE: Data Analysis Tools?

Posted 10 days ago
We are looking for more robust data analysis - trends in the data, being able to slice the data using different filters, being able to look at year over year comparisons. The survey data has both quantitative and qualitative questions

------------------------------
Aparna Kothary
Primary Contact
Global Citizen Year
Oakland, CA
------------------------------



4.  RE: Data Analysis Tools?

Posted 10 days ago
Something like Tableau would allow you to do the types of analysis you mention (or something in that vein depending on budget and sophistication desired), especially if you want to visualize trends over the years -- though I'm not sure how useful they would be for qualitative data unless you were to codify it first.  However, you may or may not need a separate tool for actually storing the data.  E.g. you could probably do a lot of those things with pivot tables but obviously storing a decade's worth of alumni surveys in Excel is not ideal.

Some people also mentioned Power BI and Google Data Studio on this thread: https://community.nten.org/communities/community-home/digestviewer/viewthread?GroupId=247&MessageKey=2befcc8c-1e9c-4ab6-b853-72db36c9117c&CommunityKey=a8e1e11e-7bc9-471c-8d12-7b1386bff668&tab=digestviewer


------------------------------
Janice Chan
Co-Organizer, NTEN Nonprofits and Data group
Technical Training Specialist, Development and Alumni Relations
Johns Hopkins Institutions
Baltimore, MD
------------------------------



5.  RE: Data Analysis Tools?

Posted 9 days ago

I would make one distinction between storing the data and analyzing and presenting the data.

When people think of analysis, they often move immediately to the presentation tools (e.g. Tableau, PowerBI, and Qlik).
And each vendor will tell you that you can just take your data directly from wherever and put it in the tool and away you go.

However, I would suggest that you need to put the data in a database first unless you are really just using one very simple data source.

Which means, getting the data into a database (like SQL Server, which most small to mid-sized organizations have or can get fro free) and then analyzing it with the appropriate tool.

Also, once you have the data clean and in one place, you can start using Excel for analysis to figure out what you might want to do before you invest in another tool.

Good luck.

 

 

Adam Jacobson

Red Three Consulting, Inc.

Helping social service agencies maximize revenue and results with data.

917-848-7284

www.reportsyouneed.com/blog

@r3reports

www.linkedin.com/in/ajredthree

PO Box 280 Bronx NY 10463-0280

 






6.  RE: Data Analysis Tools?

Posted 7 days ago
Interesting points I hadn't considered, Adam! I think most orgs are dealing with more than one data source, between their CMS, email marketing and web analytics just for starters.

I see a lot of talk about data warehouses being the future of data-driven nonprofits, but when you put that way, it seems a lot less intimidating. Spinning up a SQL server in the cloud is really easy in Azure.

And pivot tables in Excel are enormously powerful!


------------------------------
Emilio Arocho
Director, Technology and Digital Strategy
Food and Drug Law Institute
------------------------------



7.  RE: Data Analysis Tools?

Posted 6 days ago

Data Warehouses can mean a lot of things – from creating more segments in your general ledger to tools specifically design to manage all the data and reporting for fortune 500 companies.

But I spend a lot of my life getting Excel, csv and other files into SQL server and then getting reports written.

I have a whole bunch of documentation which I've built for myself which I hope to put into edited formatted on just how to do this.

Let me know if you'd like a copy (shooting for March).

adam

 

Adam Jacobson

Red Three Consulting, Inc.

Helping social service agencies maximize revenue and results with data.

917-848-7284

www.reportsyouneed.com/blog

@r3reports

www.linkedin.com/in/ajredthree

PO Box 280 Bronx NY 10463-0280

 






8.  RE: Data Analysis Tools?

Posted 9 days ago
For robust social-science-level survey analysis, you're probably talking about statistical tools, eg R, SPSS, SAS. These are tools for data analysis experts who know what they're looking for and have strong data-mining and statistics skills.

If you're looking for a toolset for analyzing and visualizing your SurveyMonkey data that's more powerful than what comes w SurveyMonkey - something that will automatically produce common types of reports and let you explore your data more easily, consider DataHero or DataCracker. Both integrate easily w Survey Monkey, and unlike a tool like Tableau, they'll come with many predefined and pre-built reports and visualizations based specifically on survey analysis. A vanilla BI tool like Tableau or even just advanced Excel use, will require you to build all of that yourself.

For many orgs at a relatively mature state of data collection and analysis, a common approach is to push data from surveys into a SQL database and use SSRS (Sequel Server Reporting Service) to develop queries. This approach makes good sense for orgs that already have SQL databases and infrastructure in place, since you don't have to buy or implement any new tech.

------------------------------
Isaac Shalev
http://www.sage70.com
Stamford CT
@Sage70
isaac@sage70.com
------------------------------



9.  RE: Data Analysis Tools?

Posted 9 days ago
Hi Aparna- There are a lot of great tools out there for this type of data analysis, and Janice mentioned a few of them in Tableau, Google Data Studio, and Microsoft's Power BI.

We've done a lot of analysis on these tools, and one that we have landed on for day to day use is called Chartio - https://chartio.com. One of my staff members wrote a blog post a little while ago on our evaluation of many such tools, you could check it out here: https://industrialagency.ca/blog/how-to-find-the-right-bi-tool

Hope that helps!
Jeff.

------------------------------
Jeff Horne
Founder and CEO
Wicket Inc.
Ottawa, ON
------------------------------



10.  RE: Data Analysis Tools?

Posted 8 days ago

I did not see any special Nonprofit pricing for Chartio - but you can get free versions of Tableau and MS Power BI as a nonprofit - may have to pay for some premium features.

I think the Google option too is mostly free - 



Stuart F. McClain, CPA (Inactive)

Controller

Regional Access Project Foundation

(760) 674-9992

41550 Eclectic St. Palm Desert, CA 92260






11.  RE: Data Analysis Tools?

Posted 5 days ago
Chartio does offer non-profit pricing - we've had several customers negotiate pricing with them and they are pretty flexible.

Lots of advice here on spinning up a SQL Server instance, getting your data into it, and running queries from there. For the more non-technical, using tools like Tableau, Chartio, PowerBI, etc. can let you get your data in from many data sources (even Excel) and then start querying it using a drag and drop interface.

Great thread with lots of good ideas here!

------------------------------
Jeff Horne
Founder and CEO
Wicket Inc.
Ottawa, ON
------------------------------



12.  RE: Data Analysis Tools?

Posted 4 days ago
but you can get free versions of Tableau and MS Power BI as a nonprofit - may have to pay for some premium features.
Stuart McClain,  Jan 12, 2018 14:48
Quick note -- Tableau (as well as some others) are set up that, if you're a free user, the data you load into the tool becomes publicly viewable -- and not just your charts but someone can easily download your underlying dataset as well.

For lots and lots of uses, this is perfectly fine -- in many cases you might be using data from NGOs that's publicly accessible anyway.  In other cases, you might be able to remove any personal information before loading it into the tool.  A survey dataset might include email address, but you can remove that column in Excel before uploading, and the resulting data doesn't reveal anything personal.

Just something to look out for.  I love Tableau btw, but nearly all the datasets we work with are public data.

Nate

------------------------------
Nathan Gasser
President / Owner, Rock River Star

Data Driven Storytelling | Content & Communication Strategy for
Nonprofits, Foundations, Global & Public Health
------------------------------



13.  RE: Data Analysis Tools?

Posted 4 days ago
That's a really good point, @Nathan Gasser! Thanks.​

------------------------------
Lyndal Cairns
Membership and Engagement Director
Nonprofit Technology Network
------------------------------