APT and Goodwill of Greater Washington Announce Findings from Data Dive

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Applied Predictive Technologies announced today the results of its most recent data dive partnership with Goodwill of Greater Washington

Applied Predictive Technologies (APT) announced today the results of its most recent data dive partnership with Goodwill of Greater Washington. Three teams made up of APT employees analyzed initiatives across Goodwill’s retail network, workforce training projects, and donor development efforts. The teams presented their findings to various members of the Goodwill leadership team at a session held at APT’s headquarters in Arlington, VA, on April 1, 2016.

APT’s data dives present a chance for employees to lend their analytical and engineering skills to social enterprise work. In each data dive, APT partners with a local nonprofit organization with the mission of helping them make better data-driven decisions. After weeks of data preparation in conjunction with the partnering organization, teams of APT employees analyze several key initiatives during an intense 24-hour “hackathon”-style project. Previous data dives have included those with DC Prep, Capital Area Foodbank, and AppleTree Institute.

During the most recent data dive with Goodwill, the APT teams focused on three core issues:

1) Retail Programs: One APT team analyzed Goodwill’s weekly “Super Saturday” sale to understand the overall impact to sales and customer loyalty
2) Donor Development: Another team analyzed Goodwill’s most valuable donors to identify high-opportunity areas for further donor outreach
3) Workforce Training: The final team analyzed Goodwill’s workforce development efforts and made recommendations for geographic resource allocation as well as website design changes

Retail Promotion Analysis
For this analysis, APT was able to partner with Goodwill to execute a test where a subset of stores did not implement their classic “Super Saturday” sale so that the team could most accurately measure the true impact of the promotion on transaction count and sales. The team found that on average, the offer generated a significant positive impact on sales and transactions on the day of the promotion, but shifted purchases away from other days of the week, diluting the overall effect of the sale. While the promotion was very successful at driving traffic to Goodwill stores, the team found that customers were simply purchasing the promoted items, instead of browsing the store and buying additional full-price items. As such, the Super Saturday sale did not generate significant incremental sales for Goodwill in the long run.

Given this challenge, the team was able to suggest new products for Goodwill to promote that would encourage customers to purchase other items in the same trip, making the Super Saturday sale a more profitable promotion overall.

Donor Development
Besides receiving goods as donations, and reselling those items to fund Goodwill’s social service activities, Goodwill also receives monetary donations. This is a very important piece of Goodwill’s business and the management team was interested in learning more about their donors and how to build loyalty and encourage repeat donations.

The team first analyzed trends in donor loyalty and found that many first-time donors did not donate again in the year following their first gift. In an effort to increase effectiveness of donor marketing, the team wanted to identify which types of donors typically made the highest impact. They found that on average, the highest value donors (about 2% of the total pool) contributed between 30-50% of the total value of Goodwill donations. The team also found that there was a significant opportunity to increase repeat contributions from these high value donors. By identifying which types of marketing activities generated the most repeat donations (e.g. direct appeal campaigns) and fewest repeat donations (e.g. special events), the team was able to make recommendations for expanded retention efforts to specific types of donors.

Workforce Training
With the funds generated from their retail operations, Goodwill operates a free workforce training program for unemployed job seekers. In an effort to boost enrollment in the training programs, Goodwill needed to know how to better target high potential demographics.

The APT team first modeled current job training demand to understand what characteristics of a region were typically correlated with a higher need for workforce development. They found that areas with lower income and lower education levels, among other characteristics, were more often in need of job training resources. The team then created a dynamic map application to visualize unmet job training need so that Goodwill can better target resources to those areas. Going forward, the Goodwill team will be able to update the map with new data to continue refining their efforts.

Finally, a team of design and user experience professionals at APT analyzed Goodwill’s website to identify opportunities for improvement. The team was able to make several specific recommendations to increase conversion rates of website visitors applying for training. They also outlined multiple A/B tests of different layouts Goodwill could run to accurately identify which designs are most effective.

The Goodwill team was enthusiastic about the findings and expressed interest in making changes based on the data as soon as possible: “These insights take us to the next level. We will now be able to understand our shoppers and donors more deeply, which allows us to use our resources in the most effective ways. This is information we can really use, and we’re excited to make changes to improve our business and better execute our mission,” said Michael Frohm, COO of Goodwill.

“I think I speak for the entire organization when I say we can’t wait to dive into this analysis and make some changes to maximize the benefit we can bring to the D.C. region. This has been a fantastic experience, and we’re very impressed with the detailed answers we were able to gain in such a short time period,” added Brendan Hurley, CMO of Goodwill.

APT SVP Sarah Hinkfuss Zampardo commented, “I was very excited by the breadth of deep insights that the data dive teams were able to provide Goodwill, across multiple key parts of their business. We were all inspired by the team at Goodwill and their incredible dedication to the organization’s mission.”

About APT
APT, a MasterCard Company, is a leading cloud-based analytics software company that enables organizations to rapidly and precisely measure cause-and-effect relationships between business initiatives and outcomes to generate economic value. Our intuitive and proprietary Test & Learn® software utilizes sophisticated algorithms to analyze large amounts of data, enabling business leaders to conduct experiments and allowing them to make optimal decisions and implement business initiatives at scale. APT also offers products that support decision-making for specific business needs including transaction analysis, space planning, promotion design, category management and location selection. APT’s client portfolio features some of the world’s best known brands, including Walmart, Starbucks, Coca-Cola, Victoria’s Secret, American Family, Hilton Worldwide, SUBWAY, TD Bank, T-Mobile, and others. APT has offices in Washington, D.C., San Francisco, London, Bentonville, Taipei, Tokyo, Sydney, and Chicago. Visit http://www.predictivetechnologies.com to learn more.

About Goodwill of Greater Washington
Goodwill of Greater Washington transforms lives and communities through the power of education and employment by providing free job training and employment services to people with disabilities and disadvantages. Goodwill funds its mission through the resale of donated goods at its 16 Washington, DC area retail stores and online.

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Cathy Baker
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