Lean Data Approaches to Measure Social Impact

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.”  It uses new technologies to gain information about customers more quickly and efficiently, yielding powerful business insights and ideas about how we 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.

This Lean Data initiative recently landed Acumen on Fast Company’s list of the Top 10 Most Innovative Non-Profits.  Now we want to share what we’ve learned and equip you with some of these tools and methods too.

You'll Love this Course if

  • A social entrepreneur looking to align your impact priorities with your business priorities and collect data in the least disruptive way possible
  •  A social sector organization looking to shift from a monitoring and evaluation approach to an impact measurement approach
  • Anyone in the impact investing space looking to learn more about how to measure impact
  • You took +Acumen’s longer course on “Measuring Social Impact” and are looking to learn more about one approach to data collection

What You'll Learn

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

 

What to Expect

How the Course Works

There are no in-person teachers or facilitators for this course, but we will have technical and subject matter experts available to assist you online. The course will be offered through a third party learning platform called NovoEd.  Course content will consist of readings and interactive exercises. It will be available for you to access at any point. You can take this course individually or with a team.  For example, your team could be employees within your organization; the founding team of a new enterprise; a group of leaders all looking to tackle one class of social problem; or a group of multi-sector stakeholders all addressing a common challenge.

Workload

This course is designed to be completed with a team.  You should expect to do approximately 1 hour of individual prep work per week and then spend 2 hours working with your team.

Technical Requirements

You will need a computer that allows you to watch the course videos and provides the ability to upload all your assignments.

Statement of Accomplishment: 

Subject to course completion (completion of all assignments), you will receive a statement of accomplishment signed by Acumen.

Frequently Asked Questions

IS THERE A FEE?

No, this course is free and open to everyone.

WHAT IS THE TIME COMMITMENT?

7 hours.

CAN I TAKE THIS COURSE INDIVIDUALLY?

Yes, this course is valuable if you take it either individually or with a group.  Members from the same organization or company may find it helpful to take the course together.

DOES EVERYONE IN MY GROUP NEED TO REGISTER TO THE COURSE INDIVIDUALLY?

Yes!

WILL A CERTIFICATE BE AWARDED UPON COMPLETION OF THE COURSE?

Yes, subject to course completion (completion of all assignments), you will receive a statement of accomplishment signed Acumen.

MORE QUESTIONS?

Please contact courses@plusacumen.org

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