These are chat archives for FreeCodeCamp/DataScience

24th
Aug 2016
Michael D. Johnson
@CodeNonprofit
Aug 24 2016 00:53

@/all Hi Everyone! Free Code Camp will soon be running a Nonprofit Technology survey, to be released as open data. Would you be interested in offering help and feedback in designing the survey? Most specifically, how to ask the questions without introducing bias, and to result in the most analysis-prone data possible.

Here's a small explanation of where we are:

What we want to know:

  • do they work for a registered 501(c)(3) charitable organization?
  • does their organization have a budget specifically for technology?
  • what types of software do they spend money on?
  • is there an existing software solution for their use case?
  • do they make use of free solutions?
  • who in the organization is deciding what software to use?
  • how long have they used their current solution?
  • how satisfied are they with their current software solution?
  • how can we best spend our volunteer efforts on nonprofits?

Why we want to know:

  • We’re curious where nonprofits are overpaying for technology the most
  • We want to allocate our scarce resources (volunteers) carefully
  • We want nonprofits to understand, through our open data results, how other organizations are using technology
  • We want nonprofits to learn about off the shelf solutions, but also that custom code is a thing
If you'd like to help, feel free to respond openly in this channel. You should also add me on Skype: 'codenonprofit'
Michael D. Johnson
@CodeNonprofit
Aug 24 2016 01:01
What else should we try to learn? What other insights would you like to learn about nonprofits + technology?
Kris Gesling
@krisgesling
Aug 24 2016 02:34
Infoxchange.org does an NFP IT survey every two years in Australia. Would be good to align questions with similar surveys if appropriate, so we can compare data more directly
Alaa Sabbagh
@Alaa-Sabbagh
Aug 24 2016 08:50
Hi everyone I was thinking about creating a room or community on gitter for C programming language .. who's with me ?
evaristoc
@evaristoc
Aug 24 2016 09:28

@CodeNonprofit I agree with @krisgesling : if you have a template, that would be great point to start.

You listed a number of questions you want to know:

Why we want to know: ...

You have several questions for the survey? That can generate conflicts in the questionnaire design that not a single person could answer but several in the same organisation.

There are some learnings from the New Coder Survey 2016 that could be taken in consideration. @erictleung was working on a post-evaluation of the New Coder Survey. @SamAI-Software was also expressing his ideas.

This project is different because it is a survey on "organisations", not users, so it is different. Specifically, they are NGO's.

@CodeNonprofit charitable organisations could be synonym of SPONSORSHIP. Some organisations make arrangements with other organisations that would supply them the technology they use.

Other thing to take in account is WHO should answer this questionnaire? An existing Subject Matter Expert or Technology Specialist, or the CEO? Be aware that you might not be totally in control of this in a self-administered questionnaire, but do all what you can to send the survey to the target person. According to the competencies and roles of the person you might have to deal with how reliable some answers are, so design your survey accordingly.

The other question is how and who organise the volunteering work regarding technology IF ANY? Think that the organisation might have a volunteering programme but not on the technology aspects, for example, for being critical. So it is more about how they maintain/update the existing technological infrastructure?

I would add proper questions about technological vs budget concerns that will allows them to maintain/improve their position.

@krisgesling how can we get a copy of the survey you are mentioning?


Also important:

  • Whenever possible, keep it short. OBS: short doesn't mean length: it means time required to answer, so it is more about HOW EASY is to answer it
  • Whenever possible, give the user the selections (I mean ALL the possible selections) => avoid user inputs unless it is something you really want to know from the user; but be aware that user input is REALLY REALLY prone to generate discrepancies and render the answer or even the conclusions useless
  • Whenever possible, standardise the responses, so the analyst won't have to deal with disparities; use existing standards whenever possible, as long as they are part of the JARGON or easy to understand by your target respondent
  • Plan ahead the study: is a one-time cross-sectional? or is this a yearly project? If the project is planned to be done every year and you want to compare them, then think about how comparable your results would be so consistency is a must
  • Sampling Design: this is an important issue that could seriously affect your conclusions: if you are unable to make a good sampling design your final conclusions might be incorrect; however, making a good sampling could be costly; better to have the support of someone who can tell you what you really can conclude from the resulting fieldwork and what not

@Alaa-Sabbagh

Hi! Thanks for the invitation! FCC already thought about that though, although the room might be off due to low level of action. Most of that kind of activity is being moved to the Forum right now (topic question/answer style of communication).

Anyway success with your plans!

CamperBot
@camperbot
Aug 24 2016 09:33
:warning: could not find receiver for alaa-sabbagh
evaristoc sends brownie points to @alaa-sabbagh :sparkles: :thumbsup: :sparkles:
evaristoc
@evaristoc
Aug 24 2016 09:42
@CodeNonprofit I think I can help with this one... I will assume we are heading for the best possible survey and conclusions, considering available resources. Please keep me in the loop.
Kris Gesling
@krisgesling
Aug 24 2016 10:26
@evaristoc I'm chasing them up for a copy, will post it when I hear back
evaristoc
@evaristoc
Aug 24 2016 11:00
@krisgesling the NGO itself is quite interesting...
evaristoc
@evaristoc
Aug 24 2016 11:06

People

Back to a previous discussion about technology trends and the battle for users: NGO's

MS is donating its Azure services to NGO's and Universities (in Dutch):
https://dutchitchannel.nl/544868/microsoft-biedt-gratis-cloud-diensten-aanngo-rsquo-s-en-universiteiten.html
evaristoc
@evaristoc
Aug 24 2016 11:31

@CodeNonprofit is bringing an interesting question, as well as @krisgesling with the presentation of the infoxchange.org project:

to who the NGO's will trust their technological requirements?

The first answer is: IT DEPENDS... But it is indeed one of the battle grounds of the technological offers around there right now. Google, by the way, it is doing something similar as MS: donating part of the services to NGO's.

Another nontrivial aspect when working with NGO's is that NOT ALL of them focus on Technology: they usually offer social services in geographical areas where technology is, to the surprise of many of us, very much delayed, controlled or unexistent, or where direct social activism is perceived as more important than technological status. The budget for technological updates could be constrained in many cases. I think @krisgesling can comment on that much better than me right now. I also have been related to the NGO sector in the past and recognised the technology gap/delay between countries.

Some NGO's are trying to reduce that gap and that is the area where FCC can help the most right now. FCC and @CodeNonprofit are making a very nice effort to find those organisations that can benefit from IT technical service, which is great. In fact, FCC is helping to reduce the gap for those who want learning to program.

One question for organisations like FCC or infoxchange.org seems to be:

what the factors are that are driving adoption of different technologies, and how FCC can help to improve/accelerate the adoption and maintenance?

Kris Gesling
@krisgesling
Aug 24 2016 12:09

here's the 2016 report from infoxchange, it covers Australia and New Zealand.
https://www.infoxchange.org/sites/default/files/digital_technologies_in_the_nfp_sector_-_31_may_2016.pdf

#1 Priority at 64% is improving their website

#1 Challenge at 59% is funding

evaristoc
@evaristoc
Aug 24 2016 12:14

@krisgesling not surprises here... Nice that 51% are thinking about improving the IT infrastructure...

One of the problems is clear: getting enough sample: they could get answer of barely 230 organisations... This is something I would expect from a survey of this kind if you don't have a good "fieldwork power"...

@krisgesling would it be difficult to get a copy of the questionnaire itself? I think this questionnaire has some questions that could be used in the FCC one, but not all of them: the focus of infoxchange is providing IaaS; FCC wants to provide Professional Services to no-cost... bit different offer...
Kris Gesling
@krisgesling
Aug 24 2016 12:16
yeah working on getting the questions and raw data. They definitely ask a few questions from the list Michael posted as I've done it in the past, but I doubt if they'd ask them all
evaristoc
@evaristoc
Aug 24 2016 12:22

Two interesting answer, @krisgesling @CodeNonprofit :
51% has improving IT infrastructure as top priority, while 53% don't know how to spend their tech budget and 47% think that finding skilled personnel would be challenging... Some questions are not clear somehow, but this is a good point.

We should try to find something similar but for US and maybe Europe?

Kris Gesling
@krisgesling
Aug 24 2016 12:24
http://www.husita.org/ is also an interesting group
more US based
evaristoc
@evaristoc
Aug 24 2016 12:25
I will also have a look at that one then...
From the infxchange survey results, the usual focus of this kind of services is evident: PR and CRM...
@krisgesling husita is interesting but very focused...
Kris Gesling
@krisgesling
Aug 24 2016 12:30
Yep, I think it's hard to get people to think 'outside the box'. Much more likely that people will have problems or frustrations, rather than ideas for making changes
evaristoc
@evaristoc
Aug 24 2016 12:33
This one is something I would have a look too:
http://defindia.org/
@krisgesling yea... most of the people in the NGO's are not IT specialists and many of them are actually activists that in fact oppose any technology challenge for being considered a threat to the real social advances. I won't question that: we need that kind of people to be there... but obviously not the target of FCC...
evaristoc
@evaristoc
Aug 24 2016 12:38
A summary for what could be happening in other parts of the world...,
https://www.devex.com/news/the-five-key-challenges-in-implementing-ict-for-development-82499
So far unable to find something similar as the work done by infoxchange...
evaristoc
@evaristoc
Aug 24 2016 12:44
Not FCC competences but very interesting, more related to an example I gave previously about technological trends:
http://www.euro.who.int/__data/assets/pdf_file/0019/215155/HiT-United-States-of-America.pdf
evaristoc
@evaristoc
Aug 24 2016 12:59

Making a search in google for NGO issues in IT seems to be fruitless. There are sure some reports but I think that the market is so huge and atomised that it is not easy to compress into a single report? Or maybe no-one in US is considering that a serious challenge or topic of interest? I guess it is also hard to decide which topic as several organisations are very much lobbying for divergent religious, political or social ideologies.

For FCC, the most important ones are those that depend on technology to commit to their goals... Not easy to find them in a simple Google search I guess...

I was looking by NGO's but the definition in US is very concrete: are those with political int'l scope... apparently the best definition is "nonprofit"

From the following site: https://www.nten.org/major-initiatives/nonprofit-technology-initiatives/

Many nonprofits often view technology as merely a cost of administration rather than an essential tool to forward their important work.

I think FCC could contact them?

evaristoc
@evaristoc
Aug 24 2016 13:07
A powerful organisation with likely with a large presence in US, supporting the adoption of MS suite between nonprofit organisations: http://www.techsoup.org/
evaristoc
@evaristoc
Aug 24 2016 13:14
@CodeNonprofit a closer (outdated) view of some possible needs in the US market:
http://blog.techimpact.org/13-nonprofit-statistics-never-knew/
evaristoc
@evaristoc
Aug 24 2016 13:19
@CodeNonprofit @QuincyLarson This idea for a research is very close to what I suggested when I met you both on the skype at our first-ever meeting! Hope some interesting things pop out this if it crystallize... Good luck!
Michael D. Johnson
@CodeNonprofit
Aug 24 2016 18:36
@evaristoc @krisgesling I think it's important to stay focused on our goals for the survey. We should not aim to compare the results of our survey to another's by asking the same questions. I'm aware of techsoup - we've been in contact with them for about a year and a half. They have competing interests that prevent them from listing us as a resource for nonprofits (namely - they sell software). The NPTFG survey is terrible, and barely scratches the surface of questions regarding websites.
Although priority #1 for 64% of NGOs in Australia and New Zealand was improving their website - we do not need to ask questions related to this. We are no longer building websites for reasons outside the scope of this channel (tldr; it doesn't make sense for us to allocate 10 weeks of 2 devs and a project manager to accomplished what could be done in a day or two using Wix or Squarespace).
Michael D. Johnson
@CodeNonprofit
Aug 24 2016 18:42
@evaristoc Thank you for all of the tips. I agree that it's important to attempt to target the right survey-takers. This could prove difficult. With respect to this risk, I the questions should be as straightforward as possible and answerable by as many employees as possible. For this reason, I'll have to be careful not to ask too highly specified questions regarding budget or numbers.
CamperBot
@camperbot
Aug 24 2016 18:42
codenonprofit sends brownie points to @evaristoc :sparkles: :thumbsup: :sparkles:
:cookie: 305 | @evaristoc |http://www.freecodecamp.com/evaristoc
Quincy Larson
@QuincyLarson
Aug 24 2016 19:09

Remote:
Med: $55,000
Standard Deviation: $51,199.51
Number of people who responded with salary info: 10,583
Non-Remote:
Med: $45,000
Standard Deviation: $43,727.47
Number of people who responded with salary info: 25,413

I was wondering if you could re-run these just for people in the US.

evaristoc
@evaristoc
Aug 24 2016 19:18

@CodeNonprofit

About asking questions:
I think the idea of benchmarking with other questionnaires as suggested by @krisgesling and supported by me is not a suggestion to make the same questionnaire but more about adapting to this survey needs. Additionally, for some analyses to make sense you might find yourself having to make similar questions in some cases, like standard/required questions.

I think it is a good practice to see what others have done after all.

About focusing:
:+1: !

About techsoup:
Interesting...

Abouth NPTFG:
I can give or take any opinion about it as I don't know.

About FCC final product not being websites:
:+1: . That is a good point that will guide the kind of questions you want to respond !

Right survey-takers:
Yes, I can understand. Another solution could be to post the right questions so we could be sure that the person will answer if he/she is the most qualified one. Question Form could be important. NOT sure about it though... Probably better direct questions...

Michael D. Johnson
@CodeNonprofit
Aug 24 2016 19:54

@evaristoc Thanks for your feedback on this.

NOT sure about it though... Probably better direct questions...

Just to be 100% clear - my questions above are questions we have, not the questions in the form of how we'll be asking respondents

CamperBot
@camperbot
Aug 24 2016 19:54
codenonprofit sends brownie points to @evaristoc :sparkles: :thumbsup: :sparkles:
:cookie: 306 | @evaristoc |http://www.freecodecamp.com/evaristoc
evaristoc
@evaristoc
Aug 24 2016 20:43
:+1:!
evaristoc
@evaristoc
Aug 24 2016 21:04

@QuincyLarson
According to my results:
Remote
Med $ 105,000.00
Standard Deviation: $ 47,400.52
Number of people who responded with salary info: 3,200

Non-Remote
Med $ 95,000,00
Standard Deviation: $ 42,977.03
Number of people who responded with salary info: 6,461

See you tomorrow!

Kris Gesling
@krisgesling
Aug 24 2016 22:23
@CodeNonprofit totally agree, didn't mean to get the whole thing side tracked from the get go! But I do think it's worth knowing what's out there and wording things in the same way unless there is a reason not to. I think the vast majority of their survey won't align but they've been running and refining their survey for years so could have good questions. It always takes time and testing to get survey questions right and any change from year to year reduces your ability to see trends so if we can get it closer the first time we'll be ahead. I've reached out to them to try and get a copy of their questions but have no expectation that they will be used.