Most foundations are engaged in the art of the possible. They invest in organizations and programs aimed at transforming current realities into better possibilities and in ideas that “push the envelope” in ways that test the edges of what could be.
But few foundations are taking advantage of a proven tool for expanding the possible in their own grant making and mission effectiveness: data analysis. Analytic methods are routinely used and considered essential in nearly every other sector of the economy. In healthcare, retail and financial services, to name just a few hotbeds, analytics has dramatically affected what — with a given amount of time and money — is possible to measure, to manage, to learn, to change and to achieve.