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Unlocking the potential of The Smith Family’s data

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The Smith Family is a major children’s charity helping disadvantaged Australian children to get the most out of their education so that they can create better futures for themselves.

A data strategy to accelerate the Smith Family’s mission

The Smith Family creates and manages a large volume of data through interactions with thousands of disadvantaged children and their families, as well as with its team members, volunteers and supporters. Its data and digital tools offered huge potential for it to amplify and accelerate its mission. Nous worked with The Smith Family to develop a strategy to improve data accessibility and use, including recommendations on governance and decision-making frameworks; and an associated roadmap and implementation plan.

Nous’ participation was part of our Community Partnership Scheme, which delivers discounted consulting services to organisations that otherwise may not have access to them.

A staged approach to a new strategy

Nous engaged more than 70 stakeholders from across The Smith Family through interviews, workshops and an online forum. Using the data-to-decisions framework to diagnose and address strengths and areas for improvement, we:

  1. mapped data flows across the organisation, allowing the team to define The Smith Family’s data and information management challenges
  2. developed strategic priorities to meet those challenges, and actions to achieve the priorities
  3. documented a clear vision for and approach to data to which all teams could align
  4. conducted a final workshop with the executive team and general managers to validate the data enablement strategy, gain buy-in and develop the call-to-action that will drive the strategy’s implementation.

Building momentum for implementation

Our engaging approach built consensus on the importance of data to The Smith Family and on the size of the commitment required for it to become a data-driven organisation. The Smith Family is implementing initiatives we recommended across four strategic data priorities: information governance, culture, literacy and capability, and systems and tools.

What you can learn from The Smith Family

Data governance is the foundation of effective data and information management.

A strong data culture is just as important as the right systems and tools.

Data and information management is an organisation-wide responsibility.