Data Science

Data science for the business of fundraising.

Fundraising Analyst

The Evolving Role of Analytics and the Analyst

The 2016 BWF Fundraising Analytics Survey Results

BWF launched its 7th annual survey of the fundraising analytics community worldwide in April 2016, with respondents in the US, Canada, and Europe. We sought to discover fundraising analytics trends and patterns in methodology, applications, and tools popular with today’s analysts, paying special attention to the impact across the industry.

Key findings from the survey include:

  • Impact grows with competency. The positive, measurable impact of data science on an organization’s success grows with the analyst’s level of competency. Shops with the most expert analysts report that, not only has their investment in data analytics produced positive results, but they can also quantify those results.
  • Skill development advances techniques. Analysts are branching out to different analytics techniques as they develop their skills and grow in experience. Cutting-edge analysts are more likely to use methods like forecasting, factor analysis, and decision trees than their more novice counterparts.
  • Leadership consumption increases with shop size. Shops that produce analyses and projects directly for organizational leadership, in addition to frontline officers and advancement services, tend to have more dedicated full-time employees. The most resourced shops count all three areas equally as consumers of analytics.

 

What the Fundraising Analytics Trends Mean for Your Program

  • Invest in your data scientists. The impact of analytics on an organization’s success increases with the analyst’s level of competency. Investing in data scientists and providing opportunities for them to increase their competencies will create measurable positive impact for your organization.
  • Promote skills development. Analytics is a competitive marketplace with constantly emerging new tools, methods, and techniques. Emphasize and support experimentation with new tools to advance your shop’s capabilities.
  • Show value to leadership. Inquire what leadership is looking for to determine how your shop can meet or exceed leadership’s needs. Raise the focus of analytics projects to inform organization-wide decision making, not just unit-specific initiatives.

What the Fundraising Analytics Trends Mean for Analysts

  • Expand your knowledge base. Add value by staying up to date with cutting-edge analytics applications, networking with data science peers from other organizations, and seeking opportunities to improve efficiency and implementation at your organization.
  • Learn new tools and advanced methods. Expert analysts are always exploring new tools and methods for getting better results faster. This includes testing out software, innovating with new statistical techniques, or automating existing solutions.
  • Support leadership initiatives. Find common ground within a complex world of competing pressures. Leadership has pressures that analysts can help solve by using analytics to refocus an old question in a new light. Whether it’s setting goals or metrics, deploying resources, understanding the donor pipeline, or assessing performance, analytics can help.
For more information, review the Fundraising Analytics report and the infographic by clicking the images below.

  

Contact BWF today for insight into the drivers of your fundraising production. From portfolio optimization to performance metrics, and from predictive modeling to prospect research, Bentz Whaley Flessner is your total pipeline solution.

Originally published July 27, 2016

Copyright © 2016 Bentz Whaley Flessner & Associates, Inc.

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