We at Provisio have a mild obsession with cats, but whiskers on kittens is just one of our favorite things. You know what else we love? Talking about data.
I know. I know. That doesn’t sound as fun as wild geese that fly with the moon on their wings (if you’re into that kind of thing), but let’s talk about the reality of why data collection is so important and how it can transform your organization and transform lives.
It’s worth getting excited about!
I can give you a long list of why organizations should collect data, like improving accountability and transparency, identifying patterns and trends, determining resource allocation, and facilitating long-term planning, but let’s talk about some real-world examples from our clients who were able to make substantial improvements in all of these areas because of their data collection.
Pinpointing What Services are Needed
MAAC provides affordable housing, child development/educational services, and economic development programs in the San Diego region. They traditionally served the Latino community, so they oriented a lot of their outreach and materials to Spanish-speaking individuals.
When they implemented Salesforce and enhanced the quality of the demographic data being collected, they found that several programs served as many as 14% Arabic speakers. Their efforts shifted to developing materials in Arabic, hiring Arabic-speaking workers, and exploring outside research on Arabic human services.
Safe & Sound has a mission to create a future free from childhood trauma. They used multiple lists and files which made it difficult to report on their true case count. Now that they collect their data with Salesforce, they can better determine how many touches they need with an individual or family to stabilize their situation by providing concrete support like food, hygiene, and rental assistance.
Pinpointing Where Services are Needed
Chicago-based Trellus, formerly Asian Human Services, collected data on families who moved from the city to the suburbs for economic reasons. Using information that showed whether families qualified for free and reduced lunches, Trellus plotted data on a map using Tableau. This allowed them to see exactly where they needed to start reaching out and where they needed to advocate for extended funding.
Improving Inventory Accuracy
One of our clients who runs a housing program needs to keep a close eye on their inventory to determine if they have enough food and other essentials to support their clients the next day and following week. Before implementing Salesforce, they did manual inventories of items, like toiletries, towels, and sheets, and it was easy to make mistakes. Through accurate inventory management, they can now communicate dignity to their guests, a central tenet of their mission.
Chicago Commons, among other services, provides Early Education programs. Attendance and inventory tracking were crucial elements for them that could not be tracked in their legacy system. With their upgraded technology, teaching staff can now track attendance, meals, snacks, allergy information, and classroom supplies, so they can better support their young students.
Talk to Us About Data Collection
Through Salesforce, your entire staff can access the same data, creating transparency and efficiency. But most importantly, staff, funders, and other stakeholders can genuinely see the impact of your social services mission. Provisio works with organizations like yours to provide guidance and best practices for data collection and reporting. If you are interested in speaking to one of our Solution Consultants, contact us here.
Marjorie lives in Saint Louis, Missouri. She received her Master’s degree in English from Truman State University. Her responsibilities at Provisio Partners include content creation and technical writing.