Data & Product: Takeaways 1+2 at #16NTC

My best learnings from the 2016 Nonprofit Technology Conference. What I like is the strategic perspective, which serves to guide practice and avoid getting lost in the weeds.

1. Data and Knowledge
 — The shift to a data-centric nonprofit sector is new.
 — Look at dips & variations. Constant upward is not ideal nor the goal.
 — As you move from data to knowledge, head towards curated metrics and natural language. Impressively writing code to turn data into human language.
 — Educate those end users! The top of the data pyramid rests on staff activity at the bottom.
 — Data combines all our brains into a #SuperBrain — wow!
 — And [does it need to be said?] tech is easy, people are complicated.

2. Product teams shift your approach to technology
 — Delineate clearly between IT/operations and Product.
 — Distributed ownership of product works! The product owner understands, builds, iterates. And the content owner learns, executes, provides feedback.
 — We all know this but — ouch! — website rebuilds are required every few years because the external environment changes. Product management is ongoing iteration on the tool.
– Adding a product team is a really simple concept, but in practice it ends up being a fundamental shift in how an organization approaches technology

Thanks to these great presenters:
Tony Kopetchny and Stefan Byrd-Krueger at Pew Charitable Trusts
Erica Roach and Nathan Fay at the Lucile Packard Foundation
Sam Dorman and Chris Zezza, working with Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA)

Cross-posted to LinkedIn here.