New Metrics
#NewMetrics ’14 Panel Showcases Tools for All of Your Data-Tracking, -Visualizing and -Interpreting Needs

Straight through to the end of the final day, #NewMetrics ’14 continued to introduce ideas and tools for gathering intelligence from previously unavailable or unusable data, as panelists from all over the world gathered to share their experiences, tools, tips and lessons learned.

EnergyPoints CEO Ory Zik set the stage with the common understanding that the effort of resource tracking is incredibly complex, making it difficult to have meaningful conversations or take quick actions based on accurate information. There is an emerging set of tools that make this job easier — providing methods of quickly and efficiently analyzing more data than has ever been possible before.

First, Tom O’Malley introduced Convetit, the platform he co-founded with Bill Baue, with his core premise being meaningful engagement with data on demand. This tool officially launched on September 22, making it an exciting new way to extract tangible outcomes curated from personalized engagement. The tool aims to identify relevant stakeholders, engage them in time-bound dialogue and publish the outcomes. It can also provide a way to quickly determine templates for industry-specific materiality focuses. “If you can change people and process, you are ready for technology,” he said.

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HP Earth Insights is an example of using big data to transform conservation efforts. Svetlana Zenkin, Environmental and Sustainability Manager at HP, explained how this system is able to collect data points from photos, climate measurements and field reports, and quickly and accurately provide analysis. This quick insight is crucial to inform scientists on the impacts of climate, people and land use, and the ability to accurately and proactively respond to informed environmental threats.

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Leonardo Bonanni, founder & CEO of SourceMap, shared his desire to incorporate supply chain, commercial, risk and sustainability information all into one platform. The goal? Combining the interest of all stakeholders, combining development and commercial approaches, in order to be able to verify the deforestation impact of any given product.

Next, Christina Ingersoll joined the case for the power of technology in her work with The Committee on Sustainability Assessment (COSA), arguing that digital assessments in remote areas of the world (connected wirelessly or not) are extremely important for good data. Digital wins over paper every time: It can enhance surveyor creativity, include options for help text, provide instant analysis, speed, use of sliding scales, enhancement of interviewer congeniality, and multilingual options.

Key takeaways:

  • There is a difference between monitoring data and impact assessment.
  • Analytics need to be set up to be able to see the unintended consequences of your actions.
  • Even simple, low-tech tools can promote the ease of data analysis — and ultimately, learning and change.
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