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 In Data Analysis Tools, Data Resources for Nonprofits, Projects, Team

Around this time last year, I shared some exciting news here: one of our projects had been selected for funding through the Knight Foundation Data Challenge. Since then, we’ve been collaborating with the great minds at Orb and Cognite Labs, and now we’ve got even more thrilling news: we’re ready to launch!

We’re pleased to introduce Veracio – a new data tool for nonprofits created using our share of the funding.

Our new tools will make it possible for nonprofits to easily — and affordably — collect, understand, and share data using a carefully developed set of tools to frame questions, create surveys, and weight results using statistics from the US Census to ensure accuracy.

(In short, we think this new data tool for nonprofits will make data collection better — and life easier — for a whole lot of people.)

The Need for Data Tools for Nonprofits

Working together with teams at Orb and Cognite Labs, we recognized a need for low-cost tools that would improve the quality of data collected from basic surveys conducted by nonprofits, journalists, and policymakers. When we looked at how data was being collected and analyzed, what we saw fell into two main categories:

  • Rigorous, scientific approaches that were out of reach of those with limited resources
  • Less expensive tools and processes producing lower quality results

Orb, Datassist and Cognite Labs worked together to produce this free data tool for nonprofits.


We already had an idea for a tool that would aid users in framing questions and weighting data using census statistics — so we decided to use our share of the Knight Foundation Data Challenge winnings to develop that tool further and make it free for anyone to use.

How Veracio Works

We’ve worked hard to keep this data tool for nonprofits intuitive and easy to use.

  1. Visit the Veracio website to design a survey using questions of your choosing — whatever is relevant to your cause or organization.
  2. Specify where your survey respondents will be from — this is crucial to ensure Veracio uses the appropriate census data to weight your results.
  3. Specify which demographic questions you’d like Veracio to include — sex, race, ethnicity, age, education, etc.
  4. Veracio will automatically weight the responses to your survey using US census data. (We hope to make data from other locations available in the future!)
  5. Share your survey — Veracio will store all responses until the survey closes and the data is ready for analysis.

Be Part of the Project

Now that development is close to complete, we need your help. If you’d like to contribute to our data tool for nonprofits, you can help us out as a beta tester. We’re looking for individuals to try out Veracio, give us feedback and spread the word that good things come to those who weight!

Sign up now if you’d like to help us prepare for launch. Prefer to see Veracio in action before you get your feet wet? No problem! I will be demonstrating it with Orb CTO Neal Rothleder at the upcoming National Institute for Computer-Assisted Reporting conference on Thursday, March 2nd. Come by and say hello!

Tools for Nonprofits and Journalists

At Datassist, we understand that not everyone lives and breathes data analysis and visualization like we do. If you’d like to use your data to create a compelling story or presentation that will educate and engage your audience, we’re here to help. To learn more about what we do or discuss your project with us, get in touch today.

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