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Latitude is about Data Empowerment




The team at Latitude Network is starting the year with a new more focused mission - 'Building a data-empowered social sector.' Why? Because we’ve learned over the last seven years of work with many great and varied organisations that data is a key to how we achieve better social impact. Most social organisations also recognise that they are at the early stages of their data journey, with plenty of opportunity to improve and grow. You can read more about what data empowerment looks like in this article or in our updated website.


What is data empowerment?


We see data empowerment as the state where frontline workers and managers have the right data at the right time presented in a way that helps them make better quality decisions, and these decisions have a direct impact on improving client outcomes. Good data empowers people because it -

  • Gives confidence that you are making the right decisions

  • Motivates people to see the impact they are having on people’s lives - not just at the one-to-one relationship level but at the collective level as well

  • Reduces how long it takes to do a task - making staff more efficient is part of mission because it reduces overwork but also expands the service frontier by allowing more clients to be supported for the same budget

  • Improves outcomes and services by highlighting what works best for what specific groups of people in what contexts - and it allows teams to continuously test new ideas to see what works best

  • Engages your stakeholders in your organisation’s success - whether that’s proving impact to funders, focusing your communications, or collaborating for advocacy.


How do you become data-empowered?


You may be thinking - that’s all well and good for commercial organisations or large NFPs with big budgets, but what about the rest of us? The good news is that there are things you can do that you can start yourself right away, and there are ways to share the burden in collaboration with others in your sector.


Insights

​Analyse your data to solve a difficult problem

If you have internal data analysts, that’s great, but if you don’t, sometimes it’s worth engaging external specialists like us for a one-off project answering a specific question you have. We securely pull relevant data (never with personal identifiable information in it) and find the meanings and hidden insights from it using analytical and statistical tools (and sometimes machine learning if it’s relevant).

Skills

Build data capabilities and measurement tools across your organisation

We like to think about ‘data maturity’ as a journey to improved impact, that’s why we call this the ‘Data Impact Journey’. We have a 9 element model to help you assess and plan your organisation's journey and build internal capability to drive this important change. But you can go a fair way with our free toolkits and online mini courses - get the templates here or email us to learn more.

Collaboration

Share data with others for system change

We work with peak bodies and sector leaders to develop data sharing collaborations across entire sectors or alliances. This provides whole of sector datasets used for advocacy, shared learning and understanding demand, outcomes and service delivery at scale. To understand your clients and organisation in the context of the whole sector can be very powerful. Learn more here.


While data can often seem a dry topic, we see it as key to taking social service organisations to the next level of impact and performance. It’s a big task, so we are always seeking partners and allies to work with us on that journey. We look forward to further conversations with you!


​* Tools that enable data include CRMs, databases, data warehouses, data processing and integration tools, analytics, dashboard and visualisation tools, machine learning, AI (large language models), and many new and emergent tools - the data and analytics space is changing quickly.

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