Heart, Soul & Data

We in the nonprofit world pour our hearts and souls into our work every day. But know what else nonprofits need to succeed? Data. No matter how small or overwhelmed you feel, your nonprofit can ...more

Latest Episodes


November 18, 2022 00:33:35
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44: A Growth Story with Ryan Rucker

Any of us can find our way to data. So many of the guests on this show have accidentally fallen into data, and the diversity of backgrounds, academic disciplines and skillsets add strength to the data community. It's truly the difference between the mindset of I can learn anything given time and support vs. I'm not a numbers person. Ryan Rucker is an example of someone who accidentally found her way into data - and now she's helping bring an extraordinary non-profit forward in how it uses its data to achieve its' mission. Come listen along as she talks about the changes she's making, the challenges she's struggling with, and the innovative solution that she's applying in her organization using "data envoys" to continue data conversations outside her data team and build a bridge. See the article she references that inspired her idea here: Using Data Storytelling to Disrupt White Supremacy Culture | by Lydia Hooper | Nightingale | Medium Ryan Rucker serves as the Director of Data and Evaluation at The Literacy Lab, an organization that believes that literacy is a human right and that all children deserve to learn how to read. She supports the organization through data analysis, program evaluation, and creating spaces for even the most data-averse individuals to engage with data and collaborate with peers. After over a decade working with different education nonprofits, she has found her passion through increasing and improving opportunities for students, data storytelling with an equitable lens, and elevating the experience of folks, particularly folks of color, who work within the nonprofit sector. She received her undergraduate and Master of Human Relations degrees from the University of Oklahoma and is currently ...



November 11, 2022 00:38:23
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43: Assessing Analytic Maturity with Christen Ng

There's a difference between data maturity and analytics maturity. Data is about the foundation, and analytic maturity is the work to get the insights from data. Maturity is not about fancy tech or how complex things are, it's about consistency. A data organization is mature when they can do all the of activities that are involved in succeeding with data consistently.  Analytic maturity and data maturity look different for every organization. Today's guest, Christen Ng, talks to us about analytic maturity and what that means for your organization.   About Christen Ng Christen Ng joined AVID in 2021 as the Vice President of Technology and Data. She is responsible for leading the Technology Services and PMO teams in bringing the organization’s technology infrastructure, applications, and data/impact strategy to life. She has extensive experience in building systems and resources that leveraged data-driven insights to drive efficacy in many nonprofit segments: healthcare, workforce development, arts education policy, and gender equity/DEI.She has become highly skilled in organizational performance management, program assessment and evaluation, and outcomes measurement. This expertise has translated to millions of dollars in grants, local and national recognition/awards, changes in Chicago's education policy, program models that have been scaled and replicated, and master class workshops and presentations in sharing proven solutions.Christen holds an MBA in international business from Webster University and a bachelor’s degree in information systems from DePaul University. She has previously served as Vice President on the board of the United Nations Association of Chicago and volunteered as a mentor for MIT's Solve initiative. ...



November 03, 2022 00:34:39
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42: Silo-Busting in Data with Amanda Hoffman

Are you at the start of your journey with data? Or maybe you're in the middle of it and not sure what your next step should be? Today, let's hear about an incredible journey that the League of Conservation Voters has been on with data that may provide inspiration or answers for anyone walking a similar path right now. Listen in as Amanda tells her story and shares what has worked and what hasn't as she helped shaped her organization's data.     Amanda Hoffman is the Vice President of Data and Operations at the League of Conservation Voters where she provides senior level leadership within the management & administration of a national environmental organization with 10 legal entities (c3, c4, and PACs); $160M revenue, 33 state affiliates & grantmaking of $25M. She manages all operations, data, information technology, information systems and administrations for the organization’s fundraising, membership & marketing efforts. She also manages lead department strategic plans, work planning and long-term targets. She provides leadership for streamlined data solutions that drive accurate reporting, efficiency, and organizational insights   Amanda attended American University and graduated Magna Cum Laude with a BS in International Relations. She also has a Post Graduate Certificate from University of Illinois Chicago in Nonprofit Management. She resides in Washington, DC and is a board member for EcoWomen. ...



October 27, 2022 00:38:21
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41: Culturally Competent Data with Kim Hunt

Research will always be done through the lens of the researcher – we can never fully leave behind who we are and how we see the world. But by bringing awareness to our own cultural biases and the diversity of others’ cultures, we can mitigate many of the possible errors our blind-spots produce. Kim Hunt joins Heart, Soul & Data to talk about cultural competency in data collection, analysis, and application. We how culture is more than just nationality or race; culture is any collection of norms (dress, language, observances, morals) that are shared by a group. There is a military culture, a Mid-West farmer culture, and so many more of distinct lived experiences. When it comes to collecting data and using data to make service or program decisions, we need to make sure wherever possible we include members of the cultures we are serving and studying. What you can do now: Do a member check on your board, your advisory group, your research council – do the lived experiences there reflect and represent those of your clients or community? If not, what could you do to bring in more direct representation? Guest Bio: Kim Hunt, PhD has been active in education and the nonprofit sector for more than 30 years. As a Navy Spouse, she moved homes with her husband and two daughters 16 times in 21 years throughout the US and Europe. Dr. Hunt’s research focus is on highly mobile military children and their capacity to build resilience, resilience in other highly mobile populations, education, social determinants of health, and military transition. She has over 10 years of experience in program design and evaluation, organizational evaluation, needs assessments, data collection development including ...



October 13, 2022 00:32:06
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40: Growing Your Data with Kevin McGhee

Marillac St Vincent has served Chicago for over a century, and its data needs have evolved along with its services. Kevin McGhee, the Senior Director of Data Management, walks us through the journey of how this dynamic nonprofit has grown its data and leaned into data for measuring quality of its programs to drive improvement. Day-to-day, Kevin ensures data quality integrity and approves policies, processes, and procedures related to data. Directly supervises a Data Quality Analyst and Compliance Manager and owns all aspects of the agency-wide dashboard. His work allows MSV to better understand the capacity of the organization. Kevin is a Heal Chicago Fellow, completed Northwestern Kellogg School Center for Nonprofit Management course funded by The Allstate Foundation, and was an NTENny Award recipient from NTEN: The Nonprofit Technology Enterprise Network. This award acknowledges community members who have generously given their time, knowledge, energy, and enthusiasm to the nonprofit technology sector. Kevin grew up on the west side of Chicago. He is a graduate of John Hay Community Academy Elementary and William Howard Taft High School. He graduated Cum Laude from Champlain College with a BS in Computer Information Systems and a Master of Science in Information Systems from DePaul University. He served as Co-Director of the AmeriCorps program with the Michigan Community Service Commission and worked with the Heartland Alliance as an Asset Development Coordinator and Enrollment Specialist to assist Chicago Housing Authority participants with the Family Self-Sufficiency Program. Kevin isn’t all work though, in his free time, you’ll probably find him golfing, biking, flying kites, playing basketball, or spending time with his high school sweetheart and their two children. ...



October 06, 2022 00:43:47
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39: Data Workforce with Claudia Juech

We can't amplify our good work with data if we don't have the right people to work on the data. Today's guest, Claudia Juech of the Patrick J McGovern Foundation explores the scope of the analytic workforce shortage and how we as social organizations can creatively solve it. Claudia Juech, Vice President of Data and Society at the Patrick. J. McGovern Foundation, is a technology-focused strategist, pragmatic optimist, and builder of programs and organizations. Her career has been all about using data for decision making – first in the financial sector in Germany and more recently at the Rockefeller Foundation, where she and her team used foresight approaches and innovation methodologies to identify the most promising ideas that could be shaped into the next $100M initiative. Before she joined PJMF, Claudia established and led the Cloudera Foundation in Silicon Valley as its founding CEO until it merged with PJMF in May 2021. Her work centers on data-use cases where the resulting insights can advance action and lead to progress on societal challenges. Claudia has a degree in information science from Cologne University of Applied Sciences and an International MBA from the University of Cologne.    ...