A successful social enterprise evaluation involves designing and implementing an evaluation process that meets your defined needs and purposes. This means considering what data will be central to understanding and communicating the impacts of your social enterprise, and prioritising your evaluation plans accordingly so you can measure what matters most.
It can be tempting to think that more data is better, but this is not always the case. Collecting data requires time and resources. This can be a wise investment if the data collected directly fits the needs and purposes of your evaluation – but data collected without a clear need or use can create unnecessary burden for the people providing the data, and those collecting it. The process of analysing and making use of your evaluation data is also made more complicated by collecting large amounts of information that don’t directly respond to your evaluation needs, but still require time and effort to sift through.
Focusing on measuring what matters can help guide your decisions about data collection, so that your processes reflect the defined needs and purposes of your social enterprise evaluation.