Third sector organisations hold more information about their supporters, donors, service users and employees than ever before. Charities and non-profits, just like the private sector, are navigating a digital transformation.
Naturally, within this sector there is a significant disparity in levels of digital maturity. Some of the larger non-profits are already pushing hard for a data driven decision making culture, enabled by digitally skilled workers. Fifty-nine per cent of those surveyed in the 2019 Charity Digital Skills report* want to make more effective use of data, meaning that the majority of UK charities know they need to take action if they are to leverage these vast data pools.
75 per cent of charities say they have access to ‘very few’ people with digital skills - Charity Digital Code Quick Assessment Tool results 2019
A lack of funding is cited as the biggest obstacle to digital transformation, followed closely by a shortage in relevant skills. A number of forward-thinking charities are turning to the Apprenticeship Levy and cross-sector collaboration to upskill their existing talent in a cost-neutral environment.
Homegrown data analysts
Seventeen employees from a range of UK charities – Action for Children, Centrepoint, CLIC Sargent, The Guide Dogs for the Blind Association, The Prince’s Trust and Macmillan Cancer Support – have embarked on an 18-month Level 4 Data Analytics Diploma, designed and delivered by Corndel.
Each learner will benefit from a blend of in-person workshops with their cohort colleagues, together with invaluable one-to-one coaching from data scientists, and hands-on projects that enable them to develop coding skills and build familiarity with a variety of analytical tools and techniques.
The launch event and induction workshop kicked off with a deep dive into SQL. Further monthly workshops covering units such as coding, data visualisation and database design will take place throughout the programme, which is generously supported by our partners Bupa, Capita and Societe Generale.
Programme lead and data scientist, Claire Kelleher, commented, “The Levy is a fantastic opportunity for the third sector, as it provides the chance for charities to upskill their staff in impactful areas, such as data analytics.
The applications of data analytics within charities are as endless as they are for any commercial company. Data analytics can be used to manage communications with volunteers and sponsors, analyse promotional campaigns and provide the tools to produce invaluable insight from research and development studies. I’m delighted to have the opportunity to support and work alongside these incredible charities.”
The learners come from a range of backgrounds and job functions – from HR and Finance to Fundraising and Marketing. What unites them is a shared belief in the power of data, and an impressive determination to channel their new skills into better outcomes for their charity employers.
“I look after the fundraising database. I'm not an analyst but it's important for me to understand what we can do with our data. I'm self-taught with analyst tools and am really keen to get the full picture and get stuck into doing analytics myself.” Tom Downes, Fundraising Database Manager, Centrepoint.
“As a Performance Analyst, I work with a lot of performance data, looking at outcomes for the children and young people we support and analysing that data. There are so many different systems that we need to ensure talk to each other, and then put the data in a meaningful format for our leadership teams.” Matt Knight, Performance Analyst at Action for Children.
“I am a People Insight Analyst so work with HR data that can uncover challenges we may have in the future. We sit on a lot of operational data. With the right approach we can help improve the efficiency in the organisation. This course has a lot of the tools that will help me do that.” Andrei Danu, People Insight Analyst, Action for Children.
“My background is HR and I work in the HR team as a Systems Analyst. I've had a year working with data - prior to which I was doing a more generalist HR role. I'm interested to get formal learning, and to fill the gaps in my knowledge.” Emma Whybro, HR Systems Analyst, Macmillan Cancer Support.
“My main aim for this course is to learn as much as possible so as to use the information we have to tell better stories about our young people and how we're helping to change their lives.” Justin Sylvester, Senior Operations Performance Analyst, The Prince’s Trust.
We look forward to following these ambitious and passionate learners as they begin to use data analytics tools to better understand, communicate and enhance the impact of their organisations’ work.
Learn more about Corndel’s Data Analytics programme here.