Regardless of what the new normal will look like post-COVID, the pandemic has already induced deep shifts in the way organizations approach remote work. While some companies are still grappling with how long and to what extent they will permit remote work, other companies (Twitter and Facebook among them) have made remote work a permanent option.
Though much attention has been given to how companies will adjust to remote work, we wanted to explore how social sector organizations can make remote work more effective by adopting best practices around data standardization.
While challenges to efficient remote work are well-documented (e.g. unstable internet access, childcare issues), the pandemic’s unpredictability demands that organizations quickly adapt protocols & processes to make remote work more productive sooner rather than later.
Why focus on the social sector?
Social sector organizations arguably have the most to gain by integrating effective remote work practices into their professional culture. Social sector organizations face resource constraints and bureaucratic restraints that often translate into understaffed and overworked staff. Remote work is uniquely positioned to address these issues because it frees up an invaluable resource: time.
By decentralizing the workplace, remote work can both reclaim time and make work-days more productive—but only if organizations proactively adopt best practices.
Data standardization, in particular, has tremendous potential as a strategy to increase the productivity of a remote workplace.
Using data standardization to increase productivity
Social sector organizations can employ data standardization as a universal practice to avoid traditional pitfalls in a remote work environment. While not foreign to the social sector, adoption of data-related best practices often lags behind similar practices in the private sector.
The foremost and most immediate benefit of data standardization can be seen in decision-making. In the absence of in-person meetings and casual bump-ins to exchange information, it becomes critical for organizations to establish and maintain a high level of data quality to ensure decisions are made with consistent, reliable, and verifiable data.
Without data standardization, social sector organizations may struggle to make urgent decisions in a timely manner as leaders lose faith in their own data and internal processes. Because social sector organizations play an important role in supporting and uplifting underserved populations, improvements in the expediency and accuracy of decision-making can have far-reaching positive impacts: quicker distribution of PPE to community health centers, better delivery of high-quality summer instruction to lower-income schoolchildren, etc.
The sudden onset of remote workplaces has not been ideal, but effectively integrating data standardization into remote work practices is a sound investment in greater short-term impact and a long-term increase in efficacy.
If you’re interested in learning more about best practices in data standardization for organizations in your sector, please schedule a time with us below or reach out to our CEO, Anish Nagar (firstname.lastname@example.org), a software company providing purpose-built digital solutions for socially conscious, outcomes-focused companies, foundations, nonprofits, and select government agencies.
Corecentra provides advanced digital tools for organizations to manage, monitor, and report their social performance and impact. We help foundations, nonprofits, and select government agencies manage portfolios and programs, aggregate and analyze data, and easily report outcomes to key stakeholders. By seamlessly integrating program management, budgeting & finance, stakeholder engagement, predictive analytics, and impact assessment, our products empower organizations to increase their social impact and deliver a quantified view of social performance to donors, beneficiaries, and communities.
Our Emergency Response & Impact Management (ERIM) platform allows organizations to efficiently manage a wide variety of pandemic-related projects, including economic support programs, community health initiatives, medical supply efforts, and other philanthropic activities. Instead of waiting for data to trickle in from legacy systems and processes, leaders can use ERIM to track results and make data-driven decisions to help communities in real-time.