Avoid Getting “Stunned” By Big Data

Some folks in the nonprofit and philanthropy worlds are just now wrapping their brains around big data and already we’re getting warnings about the limits and liabilities of depending too much on numbers. Nonprofit Quarterly offers this perspective:

The point of these overwhelming numbers isn’t to send underfunded nonprofits cowering because the mountain of data seems so big. The hope is that we can learn something different this year than we could have even just a couple of years before. We have to be asking the right questions and be willing to put a stake in the ground based on intuition until we can be certain the data backs us up. Now that nonprofits are using not only the data they collect directly, but also related sets of data collected in larger operations, we have to start surging past some of the early-adopter problems that can stymie the sector.

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