Getting Serious About Peer-to-Peer Fundraising Data with Predictive Analytics
If you’re like most peer-to-peer fundraising (P2P) staff, you’re drowning in data. You ascertain averages, browse benchmarks and create charts. You detail donations, edit estimates and fetch files. You hoard history, gather graphs and index indicators. We’re very serious about our data in P2P!
Sometimes we all get so caught up in reporting that it’s easy to forget about the people behind those numbers. Ironically if we consider the use of MORE data — just different data than we’re used to — we can bring our focus back to our constituents. How? First, let’s take a look at how we’ve been using data in P2P and the direction we’re heading.
Much of the data we have historically focused on in P2P is in the form of descriptive and diagnostic analytics. Descriptive analytics tells us what happened and typically include reports that tells you things like age, address, registration date and fundraising statistics. Diagnostic analytics attempts to explain why something happened and helps to identify cause and effect. You are using diagnostic analytics if you have dashboards or established benchmarks for your campaigns.
This type of analysis has served us fairly well to date. The thing with these analytics though is they focus predominantly on what’s happened in the past. They tell us nothing about what might happen in the future.