Developers

How to align with the Common Impact Data Standard

Aligning with the Common Impact Data Standard will make impact data more interoperable and enable your clients to exchange and analyze impact data more easily.

The Common Impact Data Standard

  • Provides a standard representation for the core concepts and attributes that underlie impact models
  • Is flexible, extensible and precise enough that all impact data, from any social purpose organization, using any impact model can be mapped onto this data standard
  • Is flexible, extensible and precise enough that all impact data, from any social purpose organization, using any impact model can be mapped onto this data standard
  • Sits below  impact measurement and reporting standards (such as the IRIS+ taxonomy of metrics) and other data standards (such as Microsoft’s common data model and International Aid Transparency Initiative)
  • Simplifies the sharing and analysis of impact data, including data from different sources, organizations, and software
  • Makes it possible to assess the similarity of indicators from multiple sources
  • Is a semantic representation, allowing for the development of AI and machine learning solutions for users to analyze the data

The Common Impact Data Standard is not:

  • a taxonomy of metrics or indicators currently in use by organizations, (but can represent any indicator);
  • a data collection or measurement standard, (but can record the standard used to collect or measure data); nor
  • an alternative to other impact standards (e.g. SASB, IRIS, IMP, GRI, SVI), but it can be used to represent each of those standards.

Core Ontology Map v1.1

Formal language: OWL (Web ontology language)
Interchange Format: JSON-LD (JavaScript Object Notation for Linked Data)

Why align with the Common Impact Data Standard?

The Common Impact Data Standard will allow your software, database or website to:

  • enable the representation of precise definitions thereby reducing the ambiguity of interpretation
  • foster data interoperability, i.e., the ability to understand and merge the information available from datasets spread across social purpose organizations, their networks and their investors and grant makers
  • make the components of impact interpretable by a computer so that open source software and other technologies developed for big data can be applied to analyze and interpret the data collected and generated by social purpose organizations
  • better enable data automation including the detection of inconsistencies in data and detecting the causes of the observed variations

The more impact measurement softwares align with the Common Impact Data Standard, the better it will become at allowing social purpose organizations who want to share their data and the linked details to do so at very little cost.

How to align with the Common Impact Data Standard

How to align:

i

Read through the Version 1.1 Technical Guide and associated resources.

Consult the alignment checklist to learn more about what is required to align and determine which alignment level (basic, essential or full) works best for your software.

Reach out to Common Approach’s Standards Lead to get an official alignment agreement and support.

(Optional) Schedule technical support time with the Common Approach staff—you will receive up to six hours as part of the official alignment process.

Do the work to align your software with the Data Standard. Complete the checklist based on your committed tier of alignment.

N

Check in with us for a final attestation of alignment once you’re done.

(Optional) Send us your logo! We’ll list you among the aligned software on our website and officially welcome you to our aligned softwares on social media.

Summary Levels of Alignment

Basic

The software can capture the most basic level of impact data, and exchange simple representations where the values are strings and numbers.

Essential

The software can capture impact data at a level that is in full alignment with the Impact Management Project’s Impact Norms (IMP)*.

Full

The software can capture a level of impact data that is in full alignment with the Impact Management Project as well as various impact models and characteristics of data quality.

The Classes included are:

  • Organization
  • Outcome
  • Indicator
  • Indicator Report

All Basic Alignment Classes, plus:

  • Stakeholder Outcome
  • Impact Report
  • Impact Scale
  • Impact Depth
  • Impact Duration
  • Stakeholder
  • Beneficiary Stakeholder
  • Stakeholder Characteristic
  • Indicator Standard

and all types of Risk.

All Essential Alignment Classes, plus:

  • Domain
  • ContributingStakeholder
  • all roles of Stakeholder
  • CatchmentArea
  • all types of Impact Models
  • Program
  • Service
  • Activity, Activity Code
  • all types of Inputs & Outputs

* Impact Norms are now housed at Impact Frontiers.

See the alignment checklist for more details about the properties for each of these classes.

Aligned Softwares

Software providers who have adopted the Common Impact Data Standard:

Full

Eligible for use in the Pathfinder Pilot

Essential

Eligible for use in the Pathfinder Pilot

Basic

 

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