The Chinese American Service League (CASL) serves a large immigrant population — more than 5,000 in the Chicago area each year. Complex needs include citizenship, language barriers, employment, housing, child-related services and more.
A configured data management platform based on Salesforce and Provisio Partners’ Birdseye software allows CASL staff to see the same data in real time and pivot programming accordingly.
Guesswork has been eliminated. Staff now use dashboards, saving time and money. Even more
importantly, immigrant families receive customized comprehensive services.
What if we could create greater impact and customized services, merely by tracking and “seeing” existing data?
In 2018 the Chinese American Service League (CASL) ventured to upgrade its legacy case management software to better meet the needs of the more than 5,000 Chinese immigrants it serves in the Chicago area. CASL’s mission is to strengthen families, bring families to economic self-sufficiency, and ease cultural transitions of individuals and families.
CASL Chief Operating Officer Jered Pruitt was introduced to Provisio Partners through Salesforce. “We needed a system that integrated with every program and Provisio had a customized model,” said Pruitt.
“We wanted our staff to see all the same data and dashboards in order to be a more informed practice overall, ultimately creating a data-informed practice organization.”
Provisio’s integrated solution helped Pruitt and his team access and track processes across the entire system. Plus, CASL wanted more than a tech solution. They sought a relationship with a partner who would learn about them, have face-to-face meetings and deliver a custom solution focused around CASL’s people, programs and processes.
Answering the big-picture question: are we having an impact?
The path to meeting goals for many human services organizations can be cloudy. Pruitt describes the end goal as “sometimes bobbing and weaving within the means to achieve that goal.” He says, “We can now see where we are creating impact and where we are not, which requires us to be nimble in adapting our programming.” Clarity is one of the unexpected outcomes from being a “data champion” and optimizing Salesforce for greater efficiency.
For CASL, the leadership’s focus has purposely shifted from financial management to program impact. But how do you measure impact? Pruitt gives these examples: achieving program goals, providing good customer service, and creating a deeper client experience.
Before Provisio created a technology roadmap, they first did a deep dive into CASL’s more than 20 services, including major programs like Early Head Start, Employment, HUD-Certified Housing Counseling, Financial Counseling, Citizenship and Immigration, ESL Training, Translations, Legal Services and Senior Services.
They learned that CASL serves a broad area that includes Chicago and its suburbs. (The region has the sixth largest Chinese-American population in the U.S.) Creating clarity and efficiency in the delivery of service was a top priority for Provisio.
Data visibility leads to greater service
Now, CASL can immediately see how well clients and families are served, the programs they are using, what activities parents are and are not participating in and how children are performing by quarter in Early Head Start. “I can tell you a hundred statistics around our programs that I couldn’t tell you before we engaged Provisio’s services,” said Pruitt.
Being a data champion, CASL now knows facts like:
- The average chef graduating from our culinary program earns $16.25 per hour compared to the $14.20 per hour earned by people in our other employment programs
- 87% of chef training students are offered and accept medical benefits from their new employers
- 50.2% average knowledge gain in those who attended CASL’s Homebuyer Education program and 29.7% gain in those who attended CASL’s Money Smart program.
- Gold Assessment of its Head Start program shows Social emotional growth of 71.4% of ages 2-5 in the last school year.
CASL lives its mission’
If the CASL board or any executive asked for “program by the numbers,” it’s readily available. Prior to partnering with Provisio, such 360-degree visibility did not exist. Provisio has helped the CASL team operate a more informed practice, to immediately see the difference programs make, and to better address the complex issues affecting the individuals and families CASL serves.
“Our overall mission is to provide support and advocacies for Chinese immigrants and have a leadership role in the Chinatown community. With the immigrant population, people come to us with complex issues. Provisio helps us better understand and better react to those complexities. They do that by providing the technology and design process to track and respond better to those we serve.”
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.