What is it?
Acumen is a non-profit global venture fund using an entrepreneurial approach to poverty reduction. It invests in early-stage companies that deliver affordable goods and services to improve the lives of the poor
Incubated within Acumen, Lean Data (now 60 Decibels) helps social enterprises more effectively listen to their customers so that they can build impact measurement and customer-centricity into business as usual.
Lean data deploys a type of ‘mini survey’ (also known as micro or pulse surveys) to collect meaningful monitoring data that makes limited demands on respondent’s time and attention. To-date Acumen have conducted over 180 projects (many of which include multiple surveys) in more than 20 countries. Surveys take anywhere from as little as a couple minutes to an average of 7 minutes to administer – and usually ask between 10-20 questions.
The ‘lean’ approach to measurement is designed to generate rapid performance data that can help SMEs improve their business practices, products and services. It focuses on the ‘customer’ performance area. The Lean Data measurement ethos is designed to be aligned with the day-to-day reality of SMEs by being:
- Bottom-up. Nurturing the habit of listening to customers in order to provide actionable insight on their needs and interests
- Useful. Yielding data that is of sufficient quality to support decision-making
- Iterative. Allowing for learning, adaptation, and replication
- Light-touch. Using low-cost tools and technologies that require a minimal investment of time and money
- Dynamic. Enabling rapid data collection within a fast-changing environment
Rather than using a standard set of indicators, Lean Data listens to businesses and customers themselves to collect metrics that are important for continuous improvement. A decision is then made on which type of survey to use. Off-the-shelf surveys are ready to go: They use tried-and-tested questions to gather valuable data as fast as possible. There’s no need for added survey design. Bespoke surveys adapt pre-designed questions to collect specific insights relevant to the business.
Example metrics include:
- Level of customer satisfaction, using Net Promoter Score
- Socio-economic profile of customers
- Customer loyalty
- Customer value proposition
- A broad range of social outcomes
Data collection tools
Lean Data leverages technology to increase the speed and reduce the cost of data collection. Mobile surveys are commonly used. Enumerators either call customers on their mobile phone, or use an automated system such as Interactive voice response (IVR). Data can also be collected via SMS or online.
For all questions and enquiries about Lean Data, contact Tom Adams firstname.lastname@example.org