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Imagine you’re rowing a boat. You’re responsible for keeping it afloat and protecting every single person on board. The tides are harsh and you have to reach the shore in safety. Now imagine you have to do all this blindfolded. You have no idea of where you’ve come from or where you’re going, what obstacles lie ahead of you and what can work in your favour.

What do you think will happen to your boat?

Without a strong command centre and the ability to track those metrics, it is likely your boat may sink. The same logic can be applied to a business.

Every organisation has its strengths and weaknesses and having a clear understanding of where they lie is essential to ensuring success. Regardless of whether an organisation is seeking funding or not, they need to have a system of tracking their metrics with the help of self-reporting assessment tools in order tobetter evaluate their footing.

CSR Rules, which came into effect on 1 April 2014, state that companies with a net worth of Rs 500 crore or revenue of Rs 1,000 crore or net profit of Rs 5 crore should spend 2% of their average profit on social development in the areas of sanitation, education, healthcare and poverty alleviation among others. In a vast country like India where there are thousands of NGOs that can benefit from such funding, the absence of a system where metrics can be tracked can be a fatal blow to development.

Even today, there are thousands of NGOs that do not have a comprehensive method of tracking the metrics of their work. With no tools to assess the success of their initiatives, most organisations get stuck in a rut when it comes to seeking funds.

Conversely, the absence of concrete data also tends to make funders and donors wary of extending financial support to these organisations.

In order to see noticeable improvement, having concrete data makes an organisation more accountable and trustworthy – thereby making its foundation stronger. Apart from this, data gives you the ability to monitor progress and build research capacity.

When there are figures and statistics to show for growth, it becomes easier to assess the success an organisation has achieved.

-Sonal Gupta