From Idea to Impact: How Charities Use Data

Kirsty Garshong our consultant managing the role
Posting date: 11/29/2018 9:30 AM
It’s that time of year again. As the festive season draws near and we pull together wish lists, many of us also begin to think about how we can give back. Given that the UK spent over £7 billion this Black Friday and Cyber Monday weekend, it’s not surprising that the idea of Giving Tuesday is becoming more and more popular. 

But with 160,000 registered charities in the UK alone, institutions are turning to data to find new ways to stand out and make a greater impact.  Far from just running quarterly reports, charities are now utilising the insights they gain from data to inform their strategies, improve their services and plan for the future. 

IDEAS


Given that not every charity is lucky enough to go viral with an Ice Bucket Challenge style video, there is a need to find other ways to stand out in such a crowded market. As such, many are looking to the data they have collected to help create a strategy.

Macmillan Cancer Support, one the UK’s biggest charities, wanted to see more success from one of their main fundraisers, ‘The World’s Biggest Coffee Morning’. The event, which sees volunteers hold coffee and cake-fuelled gatherings across the country was revolutionised by data. By engaging with their database and researching what motivated fundraisers, they refocused their marketing around how the occasion could create an opportunity for people to meet up and chat, such as swapping ‘send for your free fundraising pack’ for ‘order your free coffee morning kit’. Whilst these amends may seem superficial, they had a major impact increasing funds raised from £15m to £20m. 

Some brands have taken this idea even further, using Data & Analytics tools to engage with potential donors. Homelessness charity Cyrenians’ data told them that there were a number of misconceptions about rough sleepers, including 15% of people believing that they were homeless by choice. To counter this they created an AI chatbot, named Alex, that allowed users to ask questions they may not have been comfortable asking a real person. 

Another charity using data tools to counter common misconceptions is Dyslexia Association. Their Moment of Dyslexia campaign saw them utilise facial recognition technology; the longer a person looked at their digital poster, the more jumbled up the words and letters became. By harnessing both insights and the technology made possible by data, they were able to offer an insight into what dyslexia is like for people who previously didn’t understand. 

INDIVIDUALS


A big issue facing a number of charities is trust. Following a series of recent scandals, the public are more sceptical than ever of how charities are run, and their use of data is no exception. This ‘trust deficit’ has resulted in vast amount of potential donors staying away, with recent research highlighting that only 11% of people are willing to share their data with a charity, even if it means a better service. 

Whilst charities with effective Data Governance are able to use their vast amount of data to enhance those business, those who mismanage it are likely to suffer. Following a cyber-attack that exposed the data of over 400,000 donors, the British and Foreign Bible Society were fined £100,000. As hackers were able to enter the network by exploiting a weak password, this serves as a timely reminder that our data needs not only to be clean, but secure. 

Financial implications aside, improper data usage can also do irreversible damage to a charity’s reputation. St Mungo’s has faced criticism for passing information about migrant homeless people to the Home Office, putting them at risk of deportation. Whilst they were cleared of any wrongdoing by the ICO, this controversial use of data has had a negative impact on the charity’s image. With a decline in the number of people donating to charity overall, anything that can put people off further is bad news. 

IMPACT


Whilst there is more demand than ever for charities to share their impact data, there is also more opportunity. With Lord Gus O’Donnell urging charities to make data an ‘organisation-wide priority’, many are going beyond publishing annual reports and fully embracing a culture shift.

Youth charity Keyfund have been able to justify how the spend their funds based on their impact data. Having heard concerns from fundraisers regarding whether their leisure projects were effective they looked at the data they had gathered from the 6,000 young people they were helping. What they found was that not only were their leisure projects effective, they had an even more positive impact than their alternatives, particularly for those from the most deprived area. This allowed them to continue to support these programs and even increase funding where necessary.

Going one step further are Street League, a charity that use sports programmes to tackle youth unemployment. Rather than share their impact data in quarterly, or even annual, reports they moved to real-time reporting. Interested parties can visit an ‘Online Impact Dashboard’ and see up-to-the-minute data about how the charity’s work is impacting the lives of the people it is trying to help. This not only allows for the most relevant data to be used strategically, but also supports the business holistically, gaining donor both attention and trust.

To stand out in the charity sector institutions need to take advantage of data. Not only can this be used to generate campaigns and streamline services but, when used securely and transparently, it can help rebuild trust and offer a competitive edge. 

If you want to make the world a better place by harnessing and analysing data, we may have a role for you.

Take a look at our latest opportunities or get in touch with one of our expert consultants to see how we can help you. 

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Why Businesses Need To Put Fraud Prevention Front And Centre

If Fraudsters are anything, they are opportunists. Once the first new stories about COVID-19 started running, it wasn’t long until they were joined by tales of fraudsters selling face masks and hand sanitiser, asking panicked customers to transfer money and then disappearing without a trace.  And it’s not the first time we’ve seen this. Fraudsters are notoriously wise to periods of heightened sensitivity and uncertainty, often preying on the vulnerable. The 2008 financial crisis saw an increase in email-based phishing scams and a decade’s worth of technological advancements means that Fraud remains a many-headed beast.  Add into the mix a change in working styles and environments, and many businesses are more exposed to potential security breaches than they have been in years. Now, more than ever, companies need to make sure their Data is well protected and secure. THE FIRST LINE OF DEFENCE If you’re part of, or leading, a Fraud Prevention team, there are a number of ways you can support your business and keep on top of the situation. Here are just a few: Increase and update your investigation capacity. This team are the front line of your business’ Fraud defence team, interacting with customers daily and spotting new scams. During an uncertain period, retention and team stability is key. These are the people that understand the day-to-day Fraud challenges you face and will be essential in fighting any future challenges.  Sharing Fraud Prevention knowledge is key. Throughout this crisis, trends will be evolving quickly and working collaboratively across teams, and even other businesses, is the best way to combat this. We consistently hear from Fraud Managers that the key to beating Fraud is to share information and knowledge. Despite this, there is always a hesitation amongst companies to admit that they have been a victim to an attack. Perhaps now is the time to change this. Invest in Machine Learning and real time updates for your Fraud defences. Fraud technology has moved on from script writing in SQL and rule changes. Businesses need a real time reactive response and now is an important time to be embracing new technologies. There are a number AI-driven off the shelf packages available or, for a more bespoke solution, a Fraud Data Scientist can create something internally. Educate your team. It may seem simple, but the Fraud team can play a crucial role in minimising any potential risk from human-error. Educating employees on the risks they may face when working remotely, or what scams they need to look out for, is one of the most effective ways of fighting Fraud.  PREPARING YOUR BUSINESS Success in the fight against Fraud isn’t purely down to the group of individuals that make up the Fraud team. As a business, now is the time to be making decisions that can help you stay ahead of the Fraudsters. Here are some considerations: Consider investing in tech as an your immediate response. Not just to bolster your Fraud defences (although there are plenty of vendors offering AI-based solutions), but also technology for your employees to keep work as normal as possible such a sharing platforms, DevOps technology and video calling networks. One of the best ways to block some of the vulnerability loopholes fraudsters are trying to exploit is to keep working habits as close to normal as possible as you move to a remote solution. Be transparent with your customers. Consumers are being incredibly savvy and noting how businesses respond to the pandemic in a way that could have a big impact when normality returns. But they’re also being more empathetic and are willing to understand difficulties. For example, shopping delivery service Ocado were open and transparent when their system could not initially deal with demand. Having communicated the difficulties, worked through their issues and gone the extra mile to let customers know how they can be supported in this time, the received minimal backlash. There is an understanding that we’re all in this together. Finally, if you have the budget, continue to staff up - particularly in competitive fields such as Data Science. A lot of top Data professionals are currently at home and much more accessible than they have been in a long time. With a number of ways to remotely interview and onboard both permanent and contract staff, if you are able to get begin conversations with them now, you’ll have an edge in what will be a very competitive market come later in the year.  If you’re looking to take your next step in the world of Fraud, we may have a role for you, including a number of remote opportunities.  Or, if you’re looking to expand and build out your Fraud team, get in touch with one of expert consultants who will be able to advise on the best remote and long-term processes. 

Die Grippe, Schlangenbisse und das Covid-19 Virus: Jacob Glanville von Netflix’s "Pandemic"

Jacob Glanville aus der neuen Netflix Serie „Pandemic“, berichtet über die wegweisenden Fortschritte, welche er und sein Team bei Distributed Bio in der Welt der biotechnologisch hergestellten Medizin erzielt haben.  Diese Woche haben wir uns mit Distributed Bio’s CEO Jacob Glanville, Feldführer der fortgeschrittenen rechnerischen Immuntechnik der Biomedizin, zusammengesetzt. Die neue Netflix Serie "Pandemic“ gewährt einen Einblick in die Teams, welche derzeit alles versuchen, um einen globalen Ausbruch der Krankheit zu verhindern, und Glanville, ein sehr renommierter Experte mit einer unglaublichen Erfolgsbilanz.  Bevor er Distributed Bio gegründet hat, erlangte Jacob Glanville einen PhD der Universität Stanford und arbeitete vier Jahre als leitender Wissenschaftler bei Pfizer. Das Team, geführt von Sarah Ives, Geschäftsführerin Influenza Centivax bei Distributed Bio, entwickelt momentan eine neue universelle Art wegweisender Computertechnologie. Derzeit verwenden wir rechnerisches Ankoppeln mit hohem Durchsatz, um charakterisieren zu können, wie viele einzigartige Epitope auf der Oberfläche eines viralen Hüllproteins oder eines Pathogenproteins existieren können. Danach verwenden wir diverse Berechnungsmethoden, um die unterschiedlichen Elemente der jeweiligen Arten von viralen Kostenproteinen aus verschieden entwickelten Versionen desselben Pathogens identifizieren zu können. Dieses ist das Kernstück unserer Impfstofftechnologie. Wir verabreichen eine Reihe von sehr unterschiedlichen Varianten zeitgleich mit einer niedrigen Dosis, sodass die gemeinsam genutzten Stellen eine ausreichend hohe Dosis aufweisen, um darauf reagieren zu können." Diese Technik ermöglicht es Distributed Bio, Impfstoffe für fast jedes Virus schnell in einer sicheren Umgebung herzustellen. Zum Beispiel, aufgrund des jüngsten Ausbruchs des SARS-Coronavirus, arbeitetet Glanville mit dem US-Militär zusammen. Ein Programm der Weltgesundheitsorganisation ermöglicht die Herstellung von Pseudo-Virion-Versionen der Krankheit, welche untersucht werden können, ohne jegliches Risiko darzustellen: "Sie nehmen die Windpocken und lassen die Außenseite der Windpocken überlaufen, das Kostenprotein der schwerwiegenderen Krankheiten, wie das Coronavirus. Somit verhält es sich nun wie das Coronavirus und sieht äußerlich auch so aus. Es ist wie die knusprige äußere M&M Schale, ähnlich wie das Coronavirus, jedoch innerliche ist es eher wie weichen, klebrigen Schokolade, wie die Windpocken. Es ist nicht sonderlich gefährlich dadurch. Wir bauen eine Beziehung mit dem Militär auf, durch welche wir unsere Antikörperentdeckungsbibliothek in Verbindung mit Pseudovirionpartikeln verwenden können. So können wir schnell Antikörper entdecken, zum Beispiel gegen SARS, ohne SARS Risiko in unser Labor zu bringen.“ Jedoch beschränkt sich ihre Arbeit nicht nur auf die Bekämpfung von Viruserkrankungen. Eines der führenden Projekte von Distributed Bio konzentriert sich auf die Erschaffung eines universellen Gegengifts gegen Schlangenbisse. Die Notwendigkeit eines erschwinglichen Gegengifts mit einfachem Zugang ist hoch, da 80.000 bis 130.000 Menschen jedes Jahr durch Schlangenbisse, die meisten davon in Dritte-Welt-Ländern, getötet werden. "Es existieren ungefähr 550 Schlangenarten und jede hat 20 bis 70 Proteine. Es hört sich nach einer hohen Anzahl von Proteinen an, welche analysiert werden müssen. Aber wenn ich diese analysiere, werden 10 verschiedene, homologe Gruppen, die alle Schlangenarten teilen, deutlich." Nachdem herausgefunden wurde, dass ein universeller Ansatz sowohl möglich als auch realisierbar war, wie wurden die benötigten Antikörper entwickelt? "Unser Team, geleitet von Tim Friede, Geschäftsführer für Herpetologie bei Distributed Bio, Sawsan Youssef, Wissenschaftlicher Geschäftsführer und Raymond Newland, leitender Wissenschaftler, hat einen Mann gefunden, der Schlangen so sehr liebt, das er sich 17 Jahre lang Schlangengift aus aller Welt injiziert hat und dessen Blut haben wir testet. Wir haben Labor- und Berechnungsmethoden verwendet, um eine Reihe von Antikörpern zu identifizieren, welche eine gemeinsame Bestimmungsfaktoren aufweist.“ Bei einem Team, dessen Rollenspektrum sich von Dateningenieuren und Datenwissenschaftlern bis hin zu Bioinformatikspezialisten streckt, ist die Fähigkeit einer Zusammenarbeit besonders wichtig. Wie schafft Glanville solch ein kollaboratives Umfeld? "Ich versuche die Mitarbeiter so gut wie möglich weiterzubilden. Meiner Meinung nach werden Annahmefehler verringert, indem man die Mitarbeiter stetig weiterbildet. Ich denke der häufigste Grund, weshalb Missverständnisse und Fehler aufkommen, ist, da Mitarbeiter nicht verstehen, was ein anderer Mitarbeiter benötigt und was ihnen von der vorherigen Person weitergegeben wurde. Wenn Mitarbeiter im Stande sind, das Fachwissen ihrer Kollegen mit in die Arbeit einzubeziehen, wird dieses Risiko reduziert." Glanville ist in Guatemala aufgewachsen und ist sich dadurch der Notwendigkeit leicht verfügbarer und wirksamer Impfstoffe sehr bewusst. Besonders die westliche Welt wird immer vorsichtiger, was Infektionen angeht, aufgrund von der hohen Menge an Fehlinformationen, die sich derzeit im Umlauf befinden. Er versteht jedoch, dass dieses oft mit Vertrauen zusammenhängt. "Es ist schwierig, der Weltbevölkerung eine epidemiologische Empfehlung zu übermitteln. Oftmals werden keine Impfungen sind besser empfunden. Ich hoffe, dass ein effektiver Impfstoff dieses Fehldenken verschwinden lässt. Leider ist es derzeit noch das Problem einer Grippeimpfung, dass diese nur die Hälfte der Zeit funktioniert. Und das führt dazu, das Menschen anfangen, sich zu beschweren. Ich hoffe, dass bessere Impfstoffe und eine vernünftige Kommunikation dazu beitragen, dass dieses Fehldenken geändert wird." In Bezug auf unmittelbare Bedenken hinsichtlich der Auswirkungen des Coronavirus wendet er sich erneut der Frage der Zugänglichkeit zu: "Im Moment mache ich mir mehr Sorgen um Ebola. Es ist ein größeres Ausbruchsproblem und in einem Gebiet, das nur schlecht versorgt wird. Ich denke, China ist recht gut darin, medizinische Probleme zu lösen." Wenn Sie Ihr Team mit den Besten der Branche ausbauen möchten, wenden Sie sich an unsere Fachberater: Für unser deutsches Team rufen Sie bitte +49 30 217 899 21 oder +49 30 217 deutschlandinfo@harnham.com. Wenn Sie auf der Suche nach Ihrer nächsten Herausforderung sind und einem innovativen, weltweit führenden Unternehmen beitreten möchten, haben wir möglicherweise eine Rolle für Sie. Hier finden Sie unsere neusten Jobs. Pandemic ist jetzt auf Netflix verfügbar. Anbei der Trailer. 

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