Lean DataSM was developed by Acumen to more effectively listen to customers in order to better understand social impact.
Prior to Lean Data, Acumen had approached impact measurement in a familiar way, and had a familiar problem: relying on frameworks, proxies and anecdotes from entrepreneurs. What impact data Acumen did have was limited to basic operational metrics such as solar lights sold, number of patients visiting a hospital and jobs created etc.
This was a start, but we realized neither we nor our investees were getting smarter about social impact. Worse, our requests for deeper impact data from investees were creating frustrations all around. Acumen was disappointed that the data we knew we needed to become better impact investors never materialised. And our requests were burdensome to Acumen’s investees.
The shift with Lean DataSM was to listen directly to end customers, to hear about their lived experience in a fast and affordable way. We stopped making requests of investees, and started offering a data service to them instead. We took a plunge into mobile based data collection and became obsessed with how to write the perfect, standardized survey, so that we could create impact performance benchmarks.
Our companies were thrilled. For the first time they could see the value of the impact data, and had tangible customer insights to help grow their business. Other funds, started to notice and hire us to provide similar services to their investees.
If you’re interested in a better way to think about, collect and use impact data, we’d love to talk…get in touch