This blog post originally appeared on the WINGS blog: https://wingsprogram.com/wings-new-data-system-improves-services/
Data is essential for any organization. Often people will ask questions like: “How many people have you helped?”… “What are the demographics of your clients?”…“What services are clients using?”
However, beyond answering funders’ questions, data allows WINGS to track its success in working toward our mission to end domestic violence. Data shows outcomes, like how many people leave our programs to more secure housing or report making progress on their goals.
WINGS previous data system was a custom-made database that was over 15 years old and prone to crashing. Staff would hand write notes while meeting with clients and then later enter the information into the database. Additionally, data from the reports was not always reliable, causing staff to manually double-check information.
With a generous grant from the Thierer Family Foundation, WINGS was able to purchase a new data system, Exponent Partners. With funding from Northfield Community Church – St. Peter Legacy Fund and The Service Club of Chicago, WINGS was able to purchase tablets for program staff.
Launching this past October, WINGS program staff now utilize these portable tablets when they meet with clients and can enter data on the spot. Consequently, staff are more present in the Safe House by not being confined to a desk.
Now that service plans are digital, the agency is greener and using less paper. Additionally, digital files allow all staff working with the client to view their goals. This allows staff to more quickly provide guidance. With many staff working remotely during this global pandemic, this information provides staff with a full view of the client’s journey with WINGS.
The system has made referrals to other agency programs seamless. For example, if a client wants to utilize mentoring services while at the Safe House, their information can be auto-filled into another form. Not only is this more efficient, but it prevents the need to re-traumatize the client by asking sensitive questions that may be triggering.
In a recent survey of staff, even with a learning curve: 90% of staff are satisfied with the reliability of the new data system and 95% are satisfied with the look and feel of the system.
As a result of a more intuitive system, staff will have more time to assist each survivor of domestic violence. With this new system, WINGS is directly improving service delivery to clients and increasing the quality of our data.
WINGS Program provides housing, integrated services, education and advocacy to the Chicagoland area to end domestic violence.
Find out more about their work here.