Why empact? That’s a great question and one that I am proud to answer as the owner and Chief Data Dude at Empact Solutions. The “empact” of Empact Solutions is based on the skillful use of empathy to empower you to use data so that it has an obvious and positive impact on the communities you serve.
In its consulting work, Empact Solutions is inspired by the knowledge that we are all much more capable of creating positive change—in ourselves, our families, and our work lives—than we tend to give ourselves credit for. So “empact” for us expresses in one short word our three guiding values: empathy, empowerment, and impact.
The dictionary says empathy is “the ability to understand and share the feelings of another.” At this point, you’re probably wondering, what in the world do feelings have to do with something as dry as data? And why would we list this value first? That’s simple. When users and coworkers want to throw their arms up in the air in defeat because they are frustrated by an inefficient or seemingly irrelevant data system, empathy matters. Empathy allows us to ask strategic questions that assess the obstacles to good data gathering and analysis, and develop solutions that genuinely produce results:
“In what ways are these data tools too burdensome? In what ways do staff have to figure out how to work around the application to get it to work the way they want? How does the system REALLY benefit the end user?”
Public service and non-profit workers face unique challenges in responding to the demands of their jobs. They often feel overburdened by data collection and data management, especially when they cannot see how their efforts are truly benefitting the lives of the communities they serve.
At Empact Solutions, we see every day how empathy allows us to work more effectively with increased sensitivity to your unique situation. Empathy opens the door to more creative ideas and pragmatic fixes to old problems in data use. Listening empathically allows us to feel what it’s like to be in your shoes and design solutions that fit your particular needs.
Empathy, although a core principle of our work, is just one piece in solving the puzzle of effective data use. It is not enough simply to reduce the burden of managing data; it is also important to increase the value of what the data contains. Data itself is like a rough diamond. Not so eye-catching when first mined but full of beautiful and profitable potential. Like a skillfully cut and polished gem, data can richly inform and empower us when it is well purposed.
Understanding that to be true is only half the battle. Many people in the public sector feel intimidated by data. For a lot of us, it can leave our heads swimming in confusion. Maybe we remember struggling in math at school or statistics in college and thought thank goodness we’ll never have to mess with numbers again. Leave that stuff to the whiz kids!
The thing is, data’s potential to make a difference in people’s lives is not mined simply by assigning it to an outside consultant to make sense of it for you, at least not in and of itself. Instead, the true power of data is expressed when people in the organization feel empowered by the information they own and are confident in their ability to leverage it.
In the public sector—for those of us called to be of service to the greater good—the use of data can be one of the more valuable tools in our toolbox. Through skillful coaching and effective tools, we take pride in helping our clients to use data in meaningful ways.
Empathy and empowerment are the core principles of our mission to create a genuine and significant impact, not only on our clients but also on the people, families, and communities they serve. That’s what drives Empact Solutions every day to inspire, inform, and influence positive change at every level of your organization.
Empathy. Empowerment. Impact. These three foundational principles were so important to our vision of the work that we do, we rolled them into one “empowered” word that became our name!
We hope you’ll join us in catalyzing your organization’s potential today!