March 14, 2023
Data Governance. It Matters. And You Are Already Doing It.
There’s been a lot of talk lately about Data Governance. As awareness grows, many of our clients are generally feeling like they need to work on their data governance, and some are asking us if we can help. In response, I’ve decided to write a blog series about this mysterious new-to-many and important subject. In this series, I’ll describe what Data Governance is (this post) and why it’s important, and provide you with a framework for understanding and improving Data Governance in your organization, regardless of where you are on the Data Governance spectrum.
How to Keep your Data Integration Project from Being a Wreck
December 16, 2022
How to Communicate with Data Engineers and Other Data People
November 11, 2022
Is your Data Engineer from Mars?
October 14, 2022
September 8, 2022
The Importance of Data Dictionaries
What’s in a word? Quite a lot, in fact. We may choose our words wisely, spit our words out, or leave our words unspoken. But for others to understand what we mean, we need to share a language. French, American Sign, and Egyptian hieroglyphics are examples of widely-recognized languages. Even street signs and traffic lights are a universal language.
August 11, 2022
What’s Better Than an Evaluation Report? An Evaluation Portal!
Ahh, the lengthy and traditional evaluation report. Funders require them, then struggle to read them. Organizations invest precious time and human resources to prepare them. The results are often dry tomes illustrated with graphs that capture specific results to specific questions posed a year ago when you applied for a grant. But as a one-shot-static-data-snapshot they can’t fully capture the successes and innovations of your programs over time, nor can you be sure that the data holds true even a month after you drop your pen.
January 25, 2022
Do We Really Need to Write (and Read) another Lengthy Evaluation Report?
Funders love an evaluation report. They especially love well-written reports supported by rigorous studies and accurate information based on the right indicators. This takes resources. And not always the funder’s. It takes up a huge chunk of most evaluation budgets, as well as significant time from program staff who labor over the drafts of each evaluation report to make sure it portrays their efforts accurately and compassionately. And the typical result?
November 16, 2021
Is Your Data System Free….Like a Puppy?
If you don’t have a clear vision for your data, using free software can be more costly than the paid system you initially considered and decided against. You need to take into account all the short and long term costs of your data management system to free yourself from headaches down the road.
October 21, 2021
Should You Break Up with Your Spreadsheet? Maybe…..maybe not
Spreadsheets… People either love them or hate them. It often depends on familiarity with the spreadsheet software and how they are being shared or distributed. Social solutions recently published an article with 10 reasons to break free from spreadsheets. While we help lots of clients do exactly that, it is not always the best solution. There are times when using spreadsheets or spreadsheet-like tools (think Google Sheets, Airtable, Smartsheets, etc.) can make a lot of sense. The flexibility that these spreadsheets and spreadsheet-like tools offer is invaluable and you should always have at least one of these in your data toolbox.
September 22, 2021
Our Impact Blueprint Can Save You Time, Money, and Heartache on Your Next Data Project
Your current data system(s) don’t do everything you need. Maybe your data is all over the place. Maybe everyone is complaining that the one you have is too hard to use, doesn’t create the reports you need, or has terrible customer support. Whatever the reason, you and your staff are spending way too much time battling a system that should be making your life easier instead of harder. Are you tired of spending hours on the phone with customer support? Fishing around for days just trying to get the right information? Answering 20 questions a day from people who can’t get the system to work for them? Spending hours cleaning the same data over and over in Excel?
November 29, 2020
Never Endure Another Data Migration
We need a new data system. The stuff of dreams and nightmares. Whether you arent storing the right data in your system, or you cant get what you want out of it, you either have considered a new data system, or you were in the process of implementing one. So you got everyone on board, figured out what you needed out of a data system, did an inventory of your current systems, lined up the funding, and now its taking twice as long and costing twice as much as you planned.
November 17, 2020
Data Visualization Design Tip: Using a Style Guide
Everybody Needs Style. Why You Need a Style Guide for Your Data Visualization. We are big fans of efficiency at Inciter. We like to make our lives easier, and we LOVE to make your lives easier. If you are doing any kind of data visualization, this post will save you time and a lot of annoyance. And who doesn’t love to improve their data visualization design? What is a Style Guide?
October 29, 2020
Understanding Data Integration
We need a new data system. The stuff of dreams and nightmares. Whether you arent storing the right data in your system, or you cant get what you want out of it, you either have considered a new data system, or you were in the process of implementing one. Decide how to spend your technology budget is always hard. And moving to a new system will inevitably involve a huge cost because migrating your existing data to a new system is very labor-intensive.