paigegreenHabitat05142015-373-editHabitat for Humanity Greater San Francisco was recently highlighted in a blog by  Markets for Good, a website  highlighting best practices in the social service sector.

In the article, Lauren Shaughnessy, talks about how their organization was able to combine external market data, internal impact metrics collected through HomeKeeper and qualitative data to better tell their story. By incorporating quantitative data with their existing qualitative data, they are more effectively able to explain the context of the area they work in and the importance of the work they do.

“When it comes to storing and analyzing your data, success really comes down to systems, systems, systems! I cannot overemphasize how implementing better systems will transform your ability to accomplish effective data measurement. I’m sure anyone reading this piece knows the frustration of trying to work from a myriad of Excel spreadsheets, outdated Access database, paper files, and more just to piece together a simple data request. Not only is this a frustrating, error-prone way to store data, it’s also a drain on valuable staff time.

At Habitat GSF, we recently invested in a Salesforce instance known as HomeKeeper  that is specifically designed for affordable homeownership programs. Answers to simple questions such as “How many children have moved into our homes?” were virtually impossible for us to answer because all the data lived in paper or Excel files. Having migrated all of our homeownership data into Salesforce, we are now able to ask more complex questions like,  “What kind of overlap are we seeing between our financial education classes and who ultimately applies for our homes? In terms of readiness for homeownership, how does that population compare to those who don’t attend our classes?” Being able to answer more sophisticated questions that get at our desired impact is entirely made possible to the systems that now allow us to better analyze our own data.”    

– Lauren  Shaughnessy,  Habitat for Humanity Greater San Fransico

To read the full article, check out Lauren’s Markets for Good blog post.

Lauren also presented on this topic at the 2016 SSIR Data on Purpose conference.  Check out the slides from her presentation.