Demonstrating social value through data – tips from the Social Value Summit

data-clipart-63637-basic-cmykYesterday Heather Black, Managing Director of Economic Change CIC spoke about the realities of impact data collection on a panel at the Social Value Summit hosted by SEUK, with support from BITC and Interserve.

Below she highlights some key points made by herself and the panelists, that could help you demonstrate your social value…


Be clear on what you are tracking before implementing new systems

An organisation should have a clearly defined theory of change model with a sensible set of indicators to measure and monitor processes, before implementing a data collection system.  It’s important to only collect data that is going to be valuable for monitoring and evaluating the performance of your organisation’s delivery and impact, so don’t collect data just for the sake of it!

Don’t go into the Dragons Den without a handle on your numbers!

At Economic Change, we specialise in helping organisations capture and analyse data real-time, through implementing a Salesforce CRM.  This allows teams to transform the way they work on a daily basis through tracking their stakeholder engagement, interaction, delivery and impact data all in one place. Having one system to use gives a 360 degree view on your contacts to provide visibility to the team and full market intelligence about your customers. Using a database as a daily management tool also ensures your data is accurate and up-to-date, to give you real-time analytics on impact at any point in time. This means that next time you can go into the Dragon’s Den you can have financial and impact data at your fingertips!

Take an holistic view to measuring social value!

Social value can be demonstrated in a variety of ways to commissioners, and she has summarised some suggestions below:

  • Demonstrating the real value of volunteer roles– Volunteers, whether external or employees, donate their time, and this can contribute an in-kind £ value to a project or contract. Volunteering activities can provide health & wellbeing, education, training or employment benefits to the volunteer and this can also can have a wider social or economic impact, which could be measured.
  • Putting customer satisfaction at the heart of what you do – There has been a move by commissioners to focus on indicators that monitor the speed, quality and efficiency of customer service, customer satisfaction and complaints. It’s not just about counting outputs and outcomes for contracts and ticking a box, but it’s about the stories that sit behind these numbers. Is the customer really happy with the service provided and outcomes they achieved on the programme?
  • Demonstrate local re-investment of contract income – Mat Roberts, Group Director of Sustainability Strategy at Interserve, shared how they use payroll data to map their staff home addresses using GIS which enables them to see the distribution of staff across the UK. With this data they have been able to give commissioners visual evidence of how their contract income is staying within the local economy as Interserve employ staff from the local communities or even use local suppliers when working in an area.

Finally – can you be transparent and accountable to your stakeholders?

dashboardHeather and panellist, Dan Sutch, Director of CAST, shared a view that there is increasing emphasis on organisations to be open about their data collection and to communicate their performance to stakeholders with real transparency! This has been accelerated based on the level of scrutiny and distrust on charities seen in the press lately. At Economic Change, we have achieved this for clients through using the Salesforce CRM ‘communities’ tool to enable different stakeholders, including volunteers, beneficiaries, members, and funders, to login and have the capability to input/update data and see monitoring information real-time. Analytical dashboards, such as the example provided, can also glammed up and be made visible via websites and promoted to anyone who is interested.

If you are interested in finding out more about our social impact measurement and Salesforce CRM implementation services to transform the way you collect, use and anaylse data, then please contact us or email

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