‘Lean data’ can achieve data efficiency

There are so many ways to collect data formally and informally when using them, there is no wrong or right, what u need to consider is your project itself, what method is suitable for your project, or several combined. While lean data has the same ideology as lean startup, both admire the cost-effective and maxim usage of resources. Lean data is developed by Acumen who is the biggest international organization to resolve poverty in the world and I am a fan of them, indeed I have mentioned it in my posts several times and also benefited from them so much that enough for me to take any actions in terms of social innovation and social problems.

Lean Data is the application of lean
experimentation principles to the collection
and use of social impact data through low-cost

reference to Acumen

Why I am a fan of lean data? Because it adopts the human-center philosophy on its own, which it usually forgot by the world as Acumen says that ‘we often collect data with little regard for the people behind the numbers.’ Then this comes to another question that why do we need to collect data? We need to understand how our services&products have helped our customers and what problems they have when using it, how effective this project is and show it to our founder or investors etc. 90% of the myths which is unveiled from the customer’s side, then why do we neglect them in our data collecting mindset. So that’s why lean data has shown us a way to bring the customer in the center and designed to quickly and affordably generate quality customer insights and relevant social metrics.

A human-centered approach guaranteed that you have to respect your customer’s time and personal space based on a full understanding of your project, typically, this can be done by sending surveys via SMS or a short phone call, giving customers the choice to respond. Moreover, keep the request time short and sharp, keeping your phone interviews to no more than 15 minutes and restricting your surveys to 5-7 questions. It is not difficult to see that lean data requires you to have a deep understanding of your consumers and the project itself to develop an appropriate approach to gather the data, most importantly, figuring out that what are the goals of collecting data and what questions do you want to ask to get a meaningful response.

To implement lean data practice, you have to follow some guides. First, frame your impact hypotheses and determine what you’d like to know about your customers. Choose your technology: Determine which technology can help you communicate with customers quickly and efficiently. Then choose questions & method: Determine which instrument can help you gather high-quality data from customers. Measure: Devise and implement a plan that uses your enabling technology and your enabling instrument to gather data from people in your target market. Build/Act: Decide on steps that you will take in response to the results of your lean data results. Build new prototypes or solutions based on your insights. Finally, learn: Use the data that you gather to arrive at answers to your impact question.

How does it look like in the real world? I have extracted a case study from Acumen below to give you a taste. If you want to know more, the Acumen online course will walk you through.

Photo by Serpstat on

‘Edubridge is a vocational training company that seeks to improve the labor market outcomes for workers in India who are migrating from rural to urban areas. Girish Singhania, CEO of Edubridge, had been puzzling over a question that is critical to his company’s theory of change: How do “successful” trainees—those who obtain and accept job placements immediately after they undergo Edubridge training—differ from trainees who don’t have that outcome? Singhania didn’t have the luxury of time. To help guide the growth of his company, he needed an answer to that question in a matter of weeks. Acumen proposed a phone-call-based survey that would leverage Edubridge’s existing call center employees, who were fluent in four Indian languages and who already knew how to build rapport with trainees. Edubridge had a database of phone numbers that enabled it to build a sample that included several discrete populations: people who had expressed an interest in Edubridge courses but had never signed up for one, people who had completed an Edubridge course but had not accepted a job offer that they had received afterward, and people who had both completed a course and accepted a job offer. From the initial conversation between Singhania and his partners at Acumen to the presentation of survey results, the Edubridge Lean Data project took just four months. Call center operators set aside one hour of their time per day for survey calls and were able to meet their usual responsibilities in the remainder of their shift. They completed 650 calls in all, and each call lasted seven to eight minutes. The results provided rich insight into Edubridge’s customer base. Singhania had hypothesized that trainees with close friends in urban areas would be more likely to accept jobs than other trainees. That turned out to be true: Trainees with friends who lived in cities where the job was located were 21 percent more likely to take jobs than trainees who didn’t have such friends. Members of the Acumen team expected that trainees from higher-income families would be more likely to accept jobs than trainees from lower-income families. That hypothesis turned out not to be true. Those who had accepted jobs were 8 percent poorer than those who had not. Singhania is now using data from the survey to inform Edubridge’s customer segmentation strategy as the company prepares to expand its operations to 100 training centers over the next several years. You’ll learn more about how real enterprises like Ziqitza and Edubridge have applied a Lean Data approach over the next few modules.’

Lean data has the power to walk things through effectively and productively, this new methodology may not be suitable for your customers and your project but it provides a different perspective to see things in this old-fashion world.

This article was edited by the original author without their consent, and should not be reproduced.

By Social Innovation Insight

We are the bridge of change!

One reply on “‘Lean data’ can achieve data efficiency”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s