Our Stakeholders and Their Needs

In my previous post, I discussed our recent journey and the crossroads at which we find ourselves.  We’re on a journey of hope, and yet, it takes a lot of work to build the road as we travel.

In the Platform Cooperatives course that several members joined, we were tasked to discover our value propositions and business models. While we’ve been working on Data Commons for some time now, the landscape has changed. We’ve discovered that, by themselves, one-off grants for surveys do not make for a sustainable future.  Aside from one or two financially significant members, our membership fees do not even begin to cover the costs of maintaining our data, let alone building new platforms.

So, let’s take a look at our stakeholders, their needs, and value flows. We have some ideas, but we’re sharing these ideas with you to get your wisdom to the table.

Our Stakeholders

Data Commons Cooperative includes the following stakeholder groups:

  • Co-op Developers:  co-op incubators and developers
  • Field Researchers: academicians studying the cooperative and solidarity sectors
  • Co-op Federations/Orgs: cooperative consortiums and federations
  • Data Project Organizers: data gatherers, regional and vertical (by sector)
  • Cooperatives:  single cooperatives
  • Individuals in Co-op/Solidarity Economy: individuals interested in the cooperative/solidarity sectors
  • Policy Makers:  government bodies that impact cooperative/solidarity sectors

Stakeholder Data Work Tasks

The following chart diagrams our stakeholder groups and tasks that they would normally undertake with our information. We’ve classified them into two groups, Data Sharers and Data Users. Any organization may, and probably will, fall into either classification, depending on the work that they are doing at the moment. We further classified them into High Volume/Frequent transactions and Low Volume/Infrequent transactions.

Stakeholder Needs

We’ve detailed this with lists of our stakeholders’ needs. The following four-quadrant diagram repeats the previous breakouts and lists their specific needs.

Additional Thoughts and Invitation to Join the Conversation

With this exercise, we realized that our current business business models, membership classes and data agreements need to be reworked to more closely meet our stakeholders needs.

  • Our business model revolves around low membership fees, donated data, and volunteer labor, an unsustainable model in today’s data world, where information gets its value by being timely, up-to-date, verifiable and presented in a fashion that is readable and easily queried.
  • Our one-size-fits-all approach to member classes fails to distinguish between casual interest and heavy-duty usage.
  • With modern concerns about data privacy and veracity, we want to provide framing for data ownership, use, and sharing with agreements to reflect those needs.

To join the conversation, please join us at the Annual General Meeting on Friday, November 12, 2021, 9a Pacific / 12p Eastern.  Please join us.  You can email us at board@datacommons.coop for a link to the meeting.

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