“In God we trust; all others must bring data.”
-William Edwards Demming, statistician, management consultant
Think of a program or process in your nonprofit helping agency that is exactly what you and your funders want it to be.
Unless you intend to sit back and collect a paycheck until the wheels fall off, you’re like most nonprofit leaders trudging uphill to increase service capacity, upgrade service delivery, and keep your employees in house.
And though most of us are simply working to improve the lives of our service populations, some are more deserving than others of continued and increased support. What levels the playing field, fairly or unfairly? A simple fact by which all helping nonprofits thrive, struggle, or perish: Funding decisions most often come down to an agency’s ability to tell their data story.
Those of us who touch the Substance Use Disorder service population recognize that the best recovery outcomes result from meeting actual needs in real time.
How do we know what the client wants or needs? How do we – and in turn, our funders – determine if a program or agency is effective?
We ask. We observe. We record. We respond. We evaluate. We record again. And we report.
And so we ask you: What’s your data story?
Is your data management platform client-centered? Is it easy to use? Or does it get in the way of your providers’ service delivery and add, rather than reduce, administrative burden at all levels of your organization?
How about evaluation? Can you understand at a glance what today’s outputs are yielding? For individuals, and in aggregate? Does your data management include user-friendly tools that clients can use to record and measure their own progress?
And reporting? Could you pull today’s outputs for a subpopulation among one or more service programs with a few clicks? Could you pull the big picture of your year-to-date triumphs in the minutes before that QAI or board meeting? Do your quarterly and annual reports write themselves, or do you labor to tell a story that isn’t exactly your own?
Feel free to sit with these questions.
Recovery Data Solutions works with helping agencies to develop the tools and processes that bring them unparalleled return on investment. We believe that any product of our partnerships ought to streamline and collapse all of the elements of client-centered service data management. We consider all who are touched by our products to be priority decision-makers; we want to help each of them to make the best, most informed decisions that they can.
Recovery Data Solutions is composed entirely of your service population. That is to say, each of us lives in successful recovery from a Substance Use Disorder. And we do so in a time in which stakes for our peers – your clientele – have never been higher. We work alongside addiction and recovery thought leaders to change the way that legislators, single state authorities, and local recovery stakeholders comprehend our stories. Our mission is to make recovery stories accessible to decision-makers via improved recovery data management. And, like you, we keep commitment to the person striving for personal recovery excellence at the fore every day.
We’ll follow up with a look into our own data story – that is, the triumphs which our partnerships and products have born for our clients and their clients. For now, we encourage you to evaluate your agency’s data management tools and processes.
Or, more to the heart of it: Is the story of your work a Recovery Success Story?