Why Data is Indispensable in Grant Management

December 21, 2023

Data matters more than anything else when it comes to making decisions in grant management. For funders and recipients alike, the ability to collect, analyse, and use data effectively can make all the difference between successful projects and sub-optimal outcomes.

Before the advent of data-driven decision-making, a number of challenges plagued grant managers. So, in this article, we’ll look at some key areas in which data streamlines the everyday as well as the strategic elements of grant funding.

Decision Making

The Problem: Subjective and Inaccurate Decision Making

Without data, decisions were often based on subjective judgements, leading to inconsistencies in grant approval, where similar projects received different evaluations due to bias or oversight.

It’s not easy to provide clear reasoning for accepting or rejecting grant applications without data, leading to potential perceptions of unfairness or lack of transparency.

The Solution: Transparent, Evidence-Based Decision Making

Data-driven tools can apply consistent metrics and criteria across all grant applications, ensuring that each proposal is evaluated using the same standards, minimising biases and errors that can arise in manual evaluations.

Whether it’s about feasibility, resource allocation or identifying high-impact projects, funders need accurate data to make well informed decisions.

With comprehensive grant management software, funders can access data analytics and gain insights that inform strategic choices. This ensures that funding is directed in an equitable way towards initiatives that align with the organisation’s mission and goals.

All in all, data provides empirical evidence that makes it easier to justify and explain decisions to stakeholders, ensuring that those decisions are not only accurate but also perceived as such.

Historical Analysis

Analysing data from past grants allows funders to identify patterns of success and failure. This historical perspective ensures that decisions are informed by past experiences, leading to more accurate predictions of a project’s potential success.

Predictive Modelling

Some analytics platforms incorporate predictive modelling, taking the use of historical data further. As such, future outcomes can be predicted automatically based on statistical or AI models rather than human assessment, improving accuracy while saving time.

The Grant Management Process

The Problem: Inefficiency

Without data, the grant management process was slow and laborious. Unlike with today’s cloud based grant management systems, administrators did not have a single source of truth regarding grant data, making it harder to ensure everyone was on the same page.

Add to that the fact that administrators had to sift through heaps of paperwork and manually evaluate applications, as well as carry out time-consuming, mundane tasks such as data entry. The result? Long processing times that delayed vital projects from starting.

There was also no way to measure inefficiencies in the grant management process itself, meaning that admins had to put up with bottlenecks rather than have a clear oversight of areas for improvement. Naturally, this has a knock-on effect in terms of expenditure and there was always the risk that overheads would overshadow the impact of the grant.

In addition, without a proper framework for analysing historical data, resources could easily be misallocated to projects that would not have been the most impactful.

The Solution: Efficiency Tracking

Efficiency tracking is a critical component of modern grant management that is made possible thanks to data, and it’s especially important in an environment where stakeholders demand value for every pound spent.

Using analytics for this purpose ensures that funds are used optimally and do not detract from impact.

Operational Costs Monitoring

Continuously monitoring operational costs ensures grant managers can identify areas where expenditures might be running high, such as administrative costs, or project implementation costs. Flagging these areas early means that corrective measures can be taken to ensure that a majority of the grant funds directly benefit the cause.

A few concrete examples of how data analytics automatically provides insight into cost monitoring are as follows:

  • Cost Allocation: Analytics can help analyse and identify how expenses are distributed and highlight any patterns or trends in historical data which can then be used to optimise cost allocation strategies.
  • Budget Tracking: This allows grant managers to monitor spending against their predefined budget.
  • Impact vs. expenditure: This metric is vital for understanding the true efficiency of a grant. Analytics can provide insights into how much tangible impact (e.g., number of individuals supported, projects completed) is achieved for every pound spent.

Enhanced Collaboration

Modern grant management software facilitates seamless data sharing, ensuring that all parties involved are on the same page and can work together effectively towards common goals. We have just introduced a new data visualisation tool for Flexigrant users for this purpose.

Monitoring and Evaluation

The Problem: Difficulty in Tracking and Monitoring

Without data collection and analysis tools, keeping track of grant disbursements and outcomes was a tedious task. This made it challenging to monitor the progress and impact of funded projects. In addition, generating reports or evaluations was time-consuming and reports often lacked depth and precision.

The Solution

Data analytics allows grant managers to define and track KPIs for funded projects. They provides a way of tracking how long it takes to process applications from submission to awarded and they can also be a method to track progress on projects.


With grant management software, grantmakers can compile and share data-driven reports with stakeholders, demonstrating the impact of grant programs.


Data-driven systems often provide recent feedback. Without this, grant managers had to wait longer periods (often until a project’s conclusion) to understand its impact or any issues, delaying potential corrective action.

Comparative Analysis

Comparing the effectiveness or performance of different grants or projects within a grant enables managers to identify best practices and areas of concern, providing insights into which projects or methods deliver the best value for money.

More Benefits of Data Driven Grant Management

Discovering Opportunities

Without proper data analytics, it was harder to identify gaps, emerging needs, or promising areas that warranted funding. This could lead to missed opportunities to fund innovative or high-impact projects.

Risk Management

Identifying and mitigating risks was harder without analytics, and potential red flags that could jeopardise a grand funded programs success could go undetected. Data helps funders to identify potential risks early on so they can take proactive measures to prevent financial losses or setbacks. Again, this is done by using historical data from similar projects.

Adapting to Change

Adaptability is essential in grant funding. Data-driven insights enable funders to respond quickly to changing circumstances, whether it’s adjusting funding priorities, reallocating resources, or implementing new strategies to address emerging challenges.


For effective grant management, data matters like nothing else. From informed decision-making and transparency to efficient workflows and impact maximisation, data empowers funders to achieve their objectives.

Grant management software is an indispensable tool in harnessing data and transforming the grant management process into a well-oiled machine. Flexigrant helps you make the most of your data. Contact us today to book a demo. 

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