Giving Compass' Take:

• Devex interviews QED Group founder and CEO Neelima Grover about how technology is transforming the monitoring and evaluation in development projects, making it easier to learn from vast amounts of data.

• As Grover explains, it's not enough just to collect information — you need to create action items from it. Asking the right questions is the first part in this important process.

Here's how the UN is looking to modernize data sharing with a new partnership.

Data can be messy. That’s what Neelima Grover, founder and chief executive officer of QED Group, an international consulting firm specializing in solving complex global challenges, told Devex. “It’s all over the place. It’s sitting in different information systems and in paper piles.”

There’s nothing new there, but what is new is how evolving techniques in visualization, human-centered design, and modelling are transforming the monitoring and evaluation process. And more in-depth insights are allowing global development organizations to better learn from data.

From there, development practitioners and decision-makers can make better informed choices about the work they do, whether in redistributing funds or changing a project approach. The result? The use of data is transforming development.

“Today, there are techniques and technologies available to really make data come alive. Yes, data is complicated, yes, data is messy, but if you apply new techniques you can really get your hands on the data,” said Grover.

"What’s happening is three things: First, the sheer amount of data we have access to today is really amazing — it's unprecedented. Secondly, we have technology and tools now available that we didn’t have in the past to better understand and mine this data. Twenty years ago, when I started QED, I remember looking through hard-copy files and transcribing information into Excel spreadsheets. Now QED has data scientists working on three continents trying to mine, model, and analyze data in minutes that would have previously taken us months to collect and analyze."

Read the full article about adding learning to M&E at Devex International Development.