Welcome to the first reading in our new series on “Readings that Matter”. This series is adapted from a set of readings that Acumen’s Fellows and staff discuss on a regular basis as part of our leadership training and development.
Social enterprises and non-profit organizations often collect data to satisfy funders and create glossy reports, rather than to improve impact for the people they aim to serve. What if it didn't have to be this way? For the past 2 years, Acumen has been applying lean experimentation principles to the collection and use of social impact data. We call this new approach 'Lean Data." We've learned that social entrepreneurs can use new technologies to gain information about customers more quickly and efficiently than ever before, yielding powerful business insights about how they can make products, services and programs more meaningful for customers.
In this 3-module course, you'll get started on building a Lean Data approach for your own social enterprise or organization. Participants will explore and discuss case studies from companies in Acumen's portfolio that have used Lean Data to gain new insights and refine their value proposition. Then you'll select your own data collection tool, build a streamlined survey, and run a live demo with customers. The course will provide you with access to survey templates that Acumen has tested in the field, along with step-by-step guides on how to use free technologies to collect and organize your data. You'll end the course by building basic data dashboards and creating an action plan run your own Lean Data sprint for your enterprise or organization.
By the end of this course, you will be able to:
- Build a streamlined survey to understand why your product, service or program is meaningful to customers
- Identify an appropriate technology to rapidly collect data
- Run a Lean Data sprint within your own company or organization
- Develop a basic data dashboard to display and act upon your data