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Better Data Makes for a Better World

MFG Archive

In our latest viewpoint, we take a look at how GuideStar USA helps nonprofits benchmark their own effectiveness using data.

There’s a lot of talk in the tech industry of having the next big thing that’s going to change the world. I think we can all agree there are some times where ‘changing the world’ is an understatement—think about what you would do without your smartphone or access to something like Google, GPS navigation, or even Facebook and Twitter. More often than not though, it’s a mixture of hope and hyperbole and I think the world is starting to catch on—look no further than the current trend of American television commercials (including this one with Jeff Goldblum) satirizing our industry.

But every once in a while, we’re lucky enough to come across an organization where even hyperbole doesn’t do justice for their work. Enter GuideStar—the world’s largest source of nonprofit information and the engine behind Amazon Smile.

From their Williamsburg, Virginia headquarters, the team at GuideStar (with a little help from the Elastic platform) aggregates, analyzes, and provides data for grant makers and benefactors all over the world. Through their free and subscription-based services, GuideStar makes it easier for prospective donors to find reputable charities and nonprofits (like man animal shelters across the United States participating in this weekend’s #CleartheShelters campaign) to which they could donate their time and money.

Even more than that, GuideStar is revolutionizing the way nonprofits can now benchmark their own effectiveness within their area of influence by providing data to customers on how similarly focused nonprofits are making an impact around the world. Using this data, nonprofits are now more able to make critical adjustments on the fly which can translate into instant improvements to operations and effectiveness within their communities.

I had the pleasure of meeting Shane Ward – GuideStar’s Data Architect – this past February, and it didn’t take long to see his passion for changing the world come through. Don’t take my word for it though, just let our latest customer spotlight be your guide as Shane narrates you through their daily journey to change the world by leveraging Elasticsearch to provide Better Data to Drive Better Decisions to Make a Better World.

Many thanks to GuideStar USA for this blogpost, which was originally featured on the GuideStar blog, written by Daniel Palay. Daniel Palay (@danielpalay) is the Manager of Global Customer Programs at Elastic, the Amsterdam-based company behind the open source projects Elasticsearch, Logstash, and Kibana.