We need more questions to unlock the value of data – #1 360Giving Data labs update

Mor Rubenstein, 360Giving’s data expert, reflects on her first eight weeks in the post of the Data Labs and Learning Manager and makes a call for more questions. 

It has been eight weeks since I started my journey as the Data Labs and Learning Manager at 360Giving. Coming from the global open data world, I was excited to learn about the world of charities and grantmaking. What I have learned is that the charitable sector is facing similar issues of data quality and use regarding open data as other sectors. The good news is that this sector is eager to learn and to experiment – the perfect place to start a data lab!

The 360Giving Data Lab will focus on building capacity to use data for decision making in the charity sector, building tools that are based on the 360Giving Standard.

In the past weeks, I have been looking at the 360Giving Standard in depth. Our standard is the key to all our work and understanding it can help us to determine the potential uses of open data in the field. I have also spoken to many people across the charity world – from funders to grant seekers, from coders to policy people.

One of the main challenges is that we still struggle in defining the questions we want to answer with data. Questions and learning are essential for creating new solutions. Coming up with good questions is not solely a problem of the charitable sector. There are many resources, like School of Data, that can help us in creating good questions which can help us to move the sector forward. An example of a good question? Good question! How is the UK charitable sector funded? Is funding going to areas identified as having the most need?

Over the next few months, we will be looking at what tools we want to create and how we want to develop our current products even further.

So, if you have a real question that will help us create tools to unlock the value of the data now being published, do get in touch.
Email me at –mor.rubinstein@threesixtygiving.org

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