We use our smartphones for numerous quotidian purposes: taking photos, accessing social media, browsing the web, and of course, making phone calls. But BRAC has been employing these devices for an entirely different purpose, and it is extremely innovative.
Gathering and organizing data is one thing; using data effectively is another. Thanks to new technology, as Bill Gates writes in his 2013 annual letter, people can gather and organize data with more speed and accuracy than ever before. That's great news, particularly for the social sector around the world, which badly needs more and better feedback loops to improve its performance. But gathering and organizing data is just one half of the loop. The other half--actually using data to inform program design and decision-making--can be a generational challenge to infuse into the culture of an organization.