Groupon and Tableau Bring Data Visualization to the Nonprofit Sector

Dec 4, 2018 12:30 PM ET

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Taproot’s U.S. Pro Bono Summit is an opportunity for key stakeholders in the field of corporate pro bono to come together and discuss trends and developments across the sector. It’s also a place where practitioners can collaboratively brainstorm new ideas that will create impact for nonprofit organizations. At the Summit this year in San Francisco, Groupon and Tableau did exactly that, working together to develop a new, shared pro bono program that helps fill a critical need in the nonprofit sector.

Partnering for Impact

In today’s world, using data to inform strategic decision-making is incredibly important. Yet many nonprofits struggle to find the resources, tools, and expertise necessary to leverage data effectively. Additionally, nonprofits are increasingly asked, by funders and by the communities they serve, to measure their impact through data collection and analysis. And yet they often do not have the systems and structures to do so effectively. For these reasons, Groupon and Tableau partnered to implement a series of Hack-A-Thons aimed at providing nonprofit partners with the professional expertise – and software – they need to be able to more clearly and efficiently communicate information through the visual representation of data.

The companies’ new series of Hack-A-Thon events engaged analysts at Groupon who use Tableau software in pro bono projects with Tableau's grant partners in Chicago, Seattle, Palo Alto, and London. In late June, Groupon volunteers worked over the course of day-long events on tightly scoped nonprofit challenges related to data visualization. Ultimately, this targeted pro bono support enabled nonprofits to harness the power of their data – to discover insights and identify trends over time, to monitor their past performance and find opportunity for improvement, and to figure out how to allocate resources for maximum impact.

In addition to building nonprofit capacity to do data visualization effectively, the events provided meaningful community engagement opportunities for employees. Importantly, the collaborative Hack-A-Thon events offered Groupon analysts a new, done-in-a-day, skills-based opportunity to give back during their company-wide month of service. This helped Groupon to achieve their objectives to bring about a diverse array of ways for employees to get involved and to offer their employees an alternative to more traditional hands-on volunteering initiatives.

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