How to use your data for good

Amplifi looks at how socially responsible organisations – in healthcare, housing associations and other community-based sectors – are using data to improve experience for their users.

What good can you do with data? As a socially responsible organisation, understanding the people you serve is critical to offering them the services and experience they need. 

In healthcare, the more you know about your patients, the more you can tailor the care they receive. 

In Housing Associations, staying informed about your tenants can help you provide every individual with the accommodation and support they need. 

If you work for a Local Council or authority, you’ll know that in-depth information is key to offering a more cost-effective and personal service. 

And if you’re in the charity sector, you’ll know the multi-layered challenge of understanding as much as possible about your donors, volunteers and the recipients of your funding can make all the difference to the success of your initiatives. 

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How much ‘good’ you do as an organisation is dependent on understanding the people within your community – whether they’re patients, tenants, donors, citizens – and being able to react quickly to their needs and expectations. Your data should be the difference between having a surface-level understanding of those needs, and offering solutions that get to the heart of the issues your community is facing, delivering real benefits to the people that need you. 

However, as we explain in our guide, Data for Good: A guide to enhancing your organisation’s social impact with data, this will only be the case if you have the robust data management and high data quality needed to facilitate better insight, decision-making, analysis and automation. With poor data quality or sub-par data practices, you could end up doing more harm than good – but get your approach to data right, and there are a whole host of benefits you can offer your community to improve their experience and enhance your social impact. 

Here are just some of the ways our community-focused clients have used data to improve their service and social impact.

Self-service portals 

If you can rely on your data to be accurate and up to date, you can introduce self-service portals that empower your community to update their own information, manage their own interactions with your organisation and access services in their own time. It’s more efficient for your organisation and more convenient for your community. 

Support and protection 

Every organisation listed above has a responsibility to protect and support the people within its community. Yet with such vast numbers of people interacting with these organisations, it’s too easy for information to fall between the cracks or for red flags to go unnoticed as information moves between departments, particularly if that information doesn’t seem ‘critical’ in isolation. Just look at high-profile cases in Housing Associations recently, where opportunities were missed to protect individuals thanks to poor information flows throughout the organisation. Good data helps you to offer the right support and protection based on the ‘big picture’ surrounding each individual: a complete golden record that presents the full truth on every member of the community.

Planning and reacting to needs

One of the biggest commercial benefits of accurate, available data is faster reaction times – and this is no different for public or community-based sectors. With data, you can speed up the process of identifying trends or changes in behaviour, and adapt your services to suit the needs of users as they evolve. The self-service portals mentioned above are a good example of this, with some organisations realising too late the need to digitise their services to adapt to changing expectations.

Automation and analytics 

Accurate, up-to-date data is key to implementing analytics and automation – particularly within administrative processes. Fuel these initiatives with good-quality data, and you can both improve your user experience and streamline your own operations, boosting cost-efficiency and resource management. If, however, you attempt to feed automations and analytics with poor-quality data, you risk alienating your users and generating more manual work within your teams. 

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Building trust 

Altogether, data should enable you to improve experiences and build trust with the above initiatives, but again, it depends on the reliability of the data – both in the short and long term. A one-off data quality initiative isn’t enough to build trust amongst your users – but a single mistake is enough to break that trust. For data to help your organisation to ‘do good’ in your community you need to invest in data management tools and long-term initiatives, like data governance, that enable you to change your organisation’s relationship with data in the long term. 

Our guide, Data for Good: A guide to enhancing your organisation’s social impact with data, will help you understand your organisation’s – and community’s – relationship with data. Read it now to discover the next steps you need to take to start delivering good to your community with data.

Guide: Data for Good

Amplifi Data For Good Guide Mockup