GuideStar Blog

Data Is Not Wisdom

Photo by Ilkka Kärkkäinen on Unsplash

In 1854 John Snow correctly identified the cause of a cholera outbreak in London. It was a contaminated water pump. He then struggled, and eventually succeeded, in persuading the city authorities to take the handle off the pump. It was a historic achievement in the history of public health. The same year, England's august Cholera Inquiry Commission published a 629-page report on the causes of cholera. Their conclusion: the culprit was "bad air"—the noxious emissions that were associated with poor neighborhoods. They had 629 pages of data, and it lead them to a wrong conclusion.


A First Date with Data

She goes by many names—Data Analytics, Big Data, Data Visualization. Data is a decision maker, and a knowledge powerhouse. She is a techie, speaks in code (Python, anyone?), and is revered by every sector in town.


Why Nonprofits Need to Care About Proper Data Collection

Despite the inherent challenges of running an organization, nonprofit professionals have a wide selection of talent, strategies, and tools to help them achieve their goals. In essence, nonprofits must be managed just like for-profit businesses, and nonprofit employees are the hard-working professionals behind the scenes who do just that. 


Why Data Sharing Matters for Your Nonprofit

For nonprofits, data can be an invaluable asset—or it can be a huge question mark. How can nonprofits truly help people when they don’t know exactly who needs help—or how best to go about it? That’s what data does; it fills in the blanks so that organizations can make informed decisions about policy, programs, and progress.