Collective impact initiatives utilize shared measurement systems to identify key metrics of success that align partners toward a common vision. But a recent article by Justin Piff in the Stanford Social Innovation Review suggests that the specific data we chose to track loudly signals what we believe to be important.
In the article, the author shares four lessons from his work that can help collective impact initiatives use data more effectively for social change. They are:
1. Prioritize the learning, not the data system.
2. Be clear about whose lives you hope to improve.
3. Use qualitative data (in addition to quantitative).
4. Keep the short and long games in view.
"Data can play a transformative role in setting, refining, and evaluating collective impact strategies. Shared measurement—grounded in a culture of learning and focused on equitable processes and outcomes—may be our greatest hope for shared understanding of the societal challenges communities face (Piff, 2021)