Data-Fueled Progress Toward Gender Equality

People   |   Lori Misenhimer   |   Oct 18, 2021 TIME TO READ: 5 MINS

Network of Executive Women brings its impact into clearer focus using Alteryx data science and analytics software.

Diversity and inclusion are central to the mission of the Network of Executive Women (NEW), a multinational nonprofit dedicated to advancing all women in the workplace. Until recently, though, NEW had struggled to organize and analyze the diverse streams of data flowing out of its programs.

“We didn’t really have a clear, data-driven basis for measuring our success,” says Andrea Hatch, the nonprofit’s Director of Impact. “Also, we needed to get faster at using lessons learned from one program to make the next one even more impactful.”

NEW is gaining those pivotal insights—and strengthening its gender equality outreach—through a technology framework built on the Alteryx
Analytic Process Automation (APA) Platform. Hatch says the software provides “a single source of the truth” that helps NEW deliver more valuable resources to its members and build greater support in the business community.

“For the first time, with Alteryx, we can unite information from all these disparate systems to generate insights that we truly never had before.” — Andrea Hatch, Director of Impact, NEW

Plenty of data output, but too little insight

NEW advocates for gender equality in business and supports its community of more than 14,000 professional women through educational workshops, networking opportunities, and partnerships with corporations seeking to create more diverse workplace cultures. Over the past five years, the organization has invested significantly

in technologies to help streamline operations, be more responsive to NEW members, and offer expanded virtual access to its resources.

“Once you have the technologies in place, then you want to generate insights, right?” Hatch said. “I was brought in to help create a framework and environment that ties all of our work into organizational KPIs (key performance indicators) for actually measuring our impact.”

When she arrived in February 2020, NEW was still compiling data and generating reports manually using Excel spreadsheets. “People from three different teams spent hours and hours on reporting,” Hatch said. “And they had to start from scratch every quarter because we didn’t have consistent data outputs from these technology platforms.”

Consequently, NEW lacked visibility into demographic and behavioral trends across the organization’s membership. Comparing the survey responses from workshop participants or event attendees across different regions and from one year to the next was almost unworkable due to the effort involved.

“We felt like we were succeeding in our mission, but we didn’t always have the evidence to back it up,” said Holly Goodhart, Director of Digital Marketing & Communications. “That makes the job of attracting new partners and sponsors more difficult.”

Consistent and reusable data framework speeds reporting

Based on her experience with Alteryx in a previous nonprofit role, Hatch said she recognized the software’s potential to help NEW from day one. With support from the Alteryx for Good program, which provides free or discounted software licenses to nonprofit organizations, NEW went live on the Alteryx APA platform in April 2020.

At the same time, NEW was rolling out other new IT solutions to support virtual events and other remote interactions with members due to the restrictions imposed by the coronavirus pandemic. Alteryx proved instrumental in unifying data from these and other legacy systems automatically, thus saving Hatch and her colleagues hundreds of hours over the past year.

“As a ‘team of one,’ automation via Alteryx is key. It allows me to build something once that can be used over and over for a consistent product or report.”
— Andrea Hatch

Now, regional teams across the organization have nearly instant access to a broad array of insights—plus more time in their work day—for enhancing NEW programs and resources.

“It’s shifting our culture to be more data driven,” Goodhart says. “We can sift through feedback about a workshop we held last week, see what worked and what didn’t, and use those learnings to improve immediately.”

For example, NEW recently piloted Beyond Allies, a five-month online learning program focused on educating and inspiring men to become stronger advocates for gender equality in business. Hatch has been able to cross-analyze participants’ responses in the program evaluation survey with additional details about their geographic location, industry, job responsibilities, how many of the Beyond Allies sessions they completed, and other insightful data points using Alteryx.

“We can dig so much deeper than just, ‘I rate this program highly,’ to actually home in on how our allies’ perspective about gender equality actually changed as a result, and what other factors might have influenced that degree of change,” she said. “I would call that a real breakthrough for us in terms of measuring our impact.”

Demonstrating impact with ‘single source of the truth’

NEW plans to continue layering additional data sources into Alteryx APA and broadening the range of KPIs that it can report. Goodhart and Hatch also view the intelligence generated by Alteryx as a cornerstone of their plans to revitalize the organization’s marketing materials, web content, and internal performance scorecards.

“When we say NEW is transforming workplaces, instead of that being just an aspirational statement, we’re able to demonstrate it in highly specific ways,” Hatch said.

“With Alteryx, we have a single source of the truth about how effective we are and how we can scale our programs to support more partners.” Nonprofits: interested in learning more about the Alteryx For Good program?

Apply here.