Services for the Underserved
Services for the Underserved (S:US) provides resources to vulnerable populations including individuals with disabilities, as well as people facing poverty or homelessness. Their mission is to strengthen and empower these populations by offering opportunities to improve their circumstances. The ultimate goal of S:US is for everyone to have a roof over their head, be in good health, feel productive, and enjoy fulfilling social connections.
First Nonprofit’s Contribution
In March 2018, First Nonprofit awarded a grant totaling $8,961 so that Services for the Underserved could implement technology upgrades to enhance their internal operations. This money helped the organization purchase new a new database software and roll out staff training.
Goal of the Grant
By incorporating this new database software technology into their organization, S:US can better track and monitor their internal information. Everything from finance to human resources was once housed in a series of spreadsheets, but by migrating this information into the new program, S:US now has the ability to pull data from multiple sources and analyze it in a customized dashboard.
The organization’s new ability to better analyze their data will go a long way toward improving their internal processes and provide them with more streamlined ways of viewing and organizing information. The new system will also help the executive, administrative, and program staff view data in real time to provide accurate snapshots which can be used to compare their numbers with those of other, similar agencies. This information will be invaluable for S:US as they determine where they stand in comparison to other service providers and renegotiate rates with the State of New York.
Although visual interfaces and databases are two of the success stories of the computer revolution, their synergy to date has been mostly modest. In recent years, S:US has struggled to cope with ineffective informational presentations; poor exploratory capabilities; and difficult user interfaces. The new software addresses all three issues.
This project has enabled staff to examine real-time data in order to evaluate productivity, assess referrals, track program activities by consumers, and compare outcomes against prior time periods.
The new software allows S:US to quickly connect, visualize, and share data seamlessly, allowing S:US’ executive team to analyze meaningful data at a glance, at any time. We are also able to create and publish dashboards, sharing them with staff who have little or no programming skills.
All agency executives and program managers.
With the implementation of the new software, S:US has been able to import information from a variety of databases, analyze costs for services rendered, assess marketing initiatives, and obtain a better understanding of the consumers we serve.
The graphical interface allows S:US to view data in real-time so executive, support and program staff can understand the effectiveness of S:US operations and plan for upcoming agency needs. For instance, S:US’ Human Resources department now understands, based on specific data, how to anticipate the time it takes to go from posting a job opening to interviewing, to making a job offer, to the date of the new employee’s first day. Understanding this timeline is important. If, for example, there is a spike in turnover at any given time, Human Resources staff can now develop a plan for filling positions based on data.
Another example of the software’s impact: within S:US’ Developmental Disabilities division, staff can now view census data of the individuals we serve, daily billing rates for different services provided – such as residential or day habilitation services, employment services, etc. – and potential income vs. real income.
Data from the software can also show if we are understaffed in certain areas, as well as more accurately determine which projects/tasks are not being accomplished vs. those that are.