Data Evolution+

Data Orchard is a research organization providing skills in research, statistics and data with shared passions around making the world a better place socially, economically and environmentally. Data Orchard received a 2017 Digital Impact Grant.


Project Overview

Data Orchard will develop and test a model of support, and an online self-assessment tool, for accelerating progress on the journey towards data maturity in non-profits. Using an open-published social sector data maturity framework, Data Orchard will develop two complimentary approaches:

  • Test Support Model: Take a cohort of organisations on a journey to enable and accelerate progress including measuring data maturity pre/post project, auditing data assets, planning data strategy, and training in impact measurement, data protection, digital tools and culture change
  • Online Self-Assessment Tool: Improve and automate prototype questions and scoring tool


Data is critical to non-profits’ ongoing operations and future survival. Increasing volumes and sources of digital data are being rapidly generated in every job, team, function, often alongside non-digital paper-based systems. Governing all of this safely, ethically and effectively is one of the sector’s most difficult challenges. Organizations collect and use lots of data, yet its power and potential remains largely untapped. Whilst some are using data to achieve greater impact, efficiency, and influence, most are struggling with more basic problems. In 2016 Data Orchard conducted some ground breaking research on data maturity in the non-profit sector in the UK. Data Orchard defines ‘Data Maturity’ as the organizational journey towards improvement and increased capability in using data. When we talk about data we mean all the types of information an organization collects, stores, analyses and uses. These are the 10 key problematic characteristics of non-profits evidenced by the research:

  • Not very data mature
  • Small
  • Low/No skills capacity
  • Poor digital tools
  • Leadership disengaged with data
  • Low cultural readiness
  • GDPR compliance
  • Difficulty collecting data
  • Lack of services, and unequal access
  • Short-term support


Grantee Profile: Data Orchard

Madeleine Spinks presented the work of Data Orchard at the Data on Purpose conference at Stanford University in February 2019.

2017 Digital Impact Grantees from Stanford PACS on Vimeo.

Insights, Outputs, and Next Steps

  • Stay tuned!

Learn More

Find out more about the work of Data Orchard here.