For a while now foundations and granting organizations have talked about the need to embrace impact measurement and outcomes-based granting. Yet while there have been webinars, seminars and even entire conferences covering both concepts, there has been no definitive approach to effectively addressing either successfully.
A solution, however, exists that offer foundations and granting organizations not only the ability to accurately report outcomes and measure impact, but to go beyond reporting simply the historical data and gain insight into the future.
That solution is Predictive Analytics.
Predictive Analytics is the practice of building models that can be applied to historical data with the aim of providing predictive indicators to help you make better and more informed decisions for the future.
Simply put, If outcomes and impact measurement is like looking in a car's rear-view mirror to see where you’ve come from, Predictive Analytics is like looking through the windshield to the road ahead.
Predictive Analytics uses your current granting data and applies it to predict likely outcomes for the future. With the right model implemented, Predictive Analytics can be a powerful tool that can improve decision-making and drive efficiencies, leading to more effective allocation of your granting dollars.
Yet despite these obvious benefits, foundations and granting organizations have been slow to adopt analytics altogether, much less Predictive Analytics. Why? They simply don’t understand it.
Most organizations recognize the importance of analytics, but more often than not, the biggest obstacle to getting started is knowing where to start.
Have we been collecting the right data? Is it in a format that we can use? What if it isn’t? What can we do to the data to make it usable?