The data therapist will see you now!

Providing a comprehensive review of data outputs for a not-for-profit client

I’m really grateful to you both for your support, advice and work getting us to this point – I think the messages you gave to SMT resonated really well and were perfectly aligned to the work we’re heading into next.

Chief Information Officer, Not-for profit sector


In the run up to a major system replacement implementation, our not-for-profit client wanted assurance that the new system would fulfil their data and information requirements. The system was the core business system used by our national client across their various regional teams to process work requests measured in hundreds of millions of pounds.

Senior managers had concerns that the new system might leave them short when it came to operational data and information about the delivery of outcomes. We worked with them to review and assess the gap between the data and reporting available in the old system, in comparison to the new system.


Gathering examples of the reports from the current system, we rapidly developed a high-level core information process context picture which described the purpose and operation of the organisation.

The diagram illustrated how the systems (new and old) supported the operation and the organisational outcomes.

We used our context picture and a set of questions to support conversations with a wide spread of key people:

  • Users of the current system
  • Those involved with building the new system
  • Those who would consume the new system outputs

We asked about how the data was inputted and how the outputs were used to support the organisation’s outcomes.


  • Presented the collective insight to the senior leadership team
  • Made recommendations on next steps to address the potential data output gaps
  • Provided strategic context on operational reporting, management information and knowledge generation
  • Supported a change in direction for how data was captured, analysed, and developed into information to inform organisational decision making, as well as adjustments to the technical solutions
  • Identified root causes to existing data process challenges, suggesting both practical and strategic ideas to assist in resolving data gaps

This initiative also provided a secondary benefit, in the form of a ‘therapy session’ for people who had been impacted by the delivery of the new system.  Our sessions facilitated the reflections from a broad range of individuals who had differing levels of involvement in the new system implementation and allowed staff to give their thoughts on the change management and engagement process.



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