Madhu Prabhakara and Unmesh Sheth September 4, 2019

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Sopact is a software company, based out of the San Francisco Bay area, on a mission to make Impact measurement and management simple. With cutting edge technology, Sopact helps social sector organizations measure their impact through a dashboard with a variety of indicators. The results can be used to direct and apply changes to their methodologies.

When it comes to measuring social impact, feedback from stakeholders is a key data point.

After all, stakeholders who are the end-users of social services and can offer accurate and insightful input about those services’ impact on their lives. Currently, Sopact is focused on improving the stakeholder feedback component of their impact measurement framework to better capture the full picture of social impact.

In order to make stakeholder voice an integral part of the Sopact platform, Sopact must ensure that they have a standardized process for collecting high-quality data from stakeholders. Not only do they want high response rates, they also want respondents to be honest about the impact a given organization has had on their life.

Getting these high-quality responses starts with asking the right questions, through the right medium.

Sopact came to the LabStorm group to ask what key steps they should take to standardize the process of asking stakeholders for feedback and get a good response.

  1. It’s not all about tech. As a software company with tech skills, Sopact approaches stakeholder feedback from a technical perspective. LabStorm attendees, however, suggested that for the best stakeholder data collection process, Sopact blend their tech expertise with a more human perspective. After all, getting good quality data from stakeholders is about more than just asking good questions on a well-made tech platform. It is also reducing barriers between survey and respondent, making them feel comfortable, and building a relationship so they can be honest in their responses. In order to create a system that engages and welcomes stakeholders, while also gathering high quality data, Sopact should mix their technology with human centered design principles.
  2. Trust matters. Building trust with stakeholders is a key element in getting honest feedback from them. People only give you data if they know that the data is going to be used to provide better services to them. We see this idea play out in the private sector, where feedback loops between corporations and customers drive product improvements. In the social sector, Sopact must follow the same rigorous practices to get better quality data from stakeholders. LabStorm attendees suggested a few key steps to building trust with stakeholders, such as explaining how their responses will be used, and reporting back the changes that organizations make in response to their feedback.
  3. Keep it simple. There are all sorts of complex systems in place today, but stakeholders prefer to interact with interfaces that are simple. One of the things that makes Sopact’s platform special is the intuitive design, and Sopact should carry this sensibility over to their stakeholder feedback loops. When stakeholders interact with Sopact to give their feedback on social sector organizations, their experience should be easy and seamless. For Sopact, this means encapsulating the complexity within their platform and displaying it in the simplest way possible. They can think of their platform like a car: inside, the platform takes lots of different inputs and solves complex problems, but to an average user on the outside, all of that complexity is kept under the hood. On the outside, the stakeholder is able to drive the car, without having to understand the complexities of the engine.

Coming out of the LabStorm, Sopact will use attendees insights to build their ambitious Impact Knowledge graph, which will standardize listening to stakeholders for all of the organizations that use their platform. Do you have expertise blending tech and social impact? Have you seen great examples of using technology to get meaningful responses from stakeholders? Leave a response in the comments below or message us at [email protected].

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