Collective for Youth oversees the professional development, integration, and quality of Out-of-School Time (OST) programming for 29 school-based sites throughout the Omaha metropolitan area. Serving more than 6,000 youth in the area, Collective for Youth heavily relies on data that is entered by each site’s personnel in order to provide participant activity / attendance statistics, accountability, and measurable outcomes to its stakeholders. In 2015, cp3o was instrumental in assisting Collective for Youth with two data-driven projects in order to allow its internal staff to redirect their time to other priorities. In order to complete these tasks, and potentially future needs, cp3o’s first priority was to design and build the Collective for Youth Universal Database (CFY-UDB).
The design of the CFY-UDB began with gathering an understanding of Collective for Youth’s data needs – for the past, present, and future. cp3o utilized Data Modeling software to allow Collective for Youth’s staff to visualize the storage and flow of data. This visualization allowed for data to be expressed in a logical, “universal” manner, so that the physical source of incoming data could be easily interfaced to the CFY-UDB. Descriptive entities, attributes, and relationships allowed the Collective for Youth staff to easily understand what each individual piece of data was.
The first completed project outcome that leveraged the power of the CFY-UDB was for a data archival / consolidation task. Collective for Youth needed to change from one Participant Tracking Platform (PTP) to another, and required the archival and consolidation of all historical data stored in the old system. cp3o developed a combination of automated processes and human data analysis in order to securely gather, cleanse, transform, and consolidate data via the old system’s web-based reporting tools. Once the data was in the CFY-UDB, cp3o exported the data so that Collective for Youth and its partners could more easily work with the new PTP solution provider. Statistics from this project outcome include:
- Consolidated archival of historical data (attendance, demographics, etc.) for 15,379 total participants
- Interfacing with 2 external web-based data sources
- Reallocation of an estimated 80+ man-hours of Collective for Youth’s internal staff time
“Collective for Youth’s data needs changed, so we upgraded to a new data collection system,” said Megan Addison, Executive Director of Collective for Youth. “We needed to capture all the data in the old system for historical reference. cp3o designed a universal database to capture the historical data in usable format. The universal system was understandable and easy to use. Collective for Youth was also able to share the data captured by cp3o with other organizations.”
The second completed project outcome for the CFY-UDB was considerably more complex. Collective for Youth needed a data-driven application that could take its Summer 2015 participant attendance data and inject it into a database created by the State of Nebraska’s Department of Education (NDOE). cp3o created automation tools that either automatically matched the correctly-entered human data entries, or generated Data Discrepancy Reports (DDRs) to account for data entry errors. Those automation tools leveraged powerful string analysis algorithms that could provide “best guess” suggestions in the DDRs very similarly to modern-day search engines. Human inspection of the DDRs allowed for data entries to get flagged for immediate correction, verification, or discard. Once all of the cleansed / corrected data entries were prepared in the CFY-UDB, other automation tools were created that rapidly updated / inserted the necessary data directly into the NDOE database. Statistics from this project outcome include:
- Data Matching / Injection of 2,861 Summer 2015 participants
- Interfacing with 32 internal file-based data sources
- Reallocation of an estimated 360+ man-hours of Collective for Youth’s internal staff time
- Enforcement of Data Accountability across all 29 sites
“cp3o has the unique ability to speak both Data IT language and Non-profit organizational language,” said Gwynette Williams, Program Director of Collective for Youth. “cp3o allowed us to verbalize our data system issues and took the time to understand those issues. Furthermore, cp3o would send data and communicate with us at intervals to ensure that we were both on the same page.”
In conclusion, cp3o was able to save Collective for Youth significant cost and time as a result of delivering powerful solutions for the visualization, archival, analysis, cleansing, and interfacing of its data. The greatest benefit that the CFY-UDB provides the Collective for Youth staff and its partners / stakeholders is its ability to organize data in a universal manner that doesn’t depend on, nor lack compatibility to, any external source. This flexibility will enhance the success of Collective for Youth’s mission for years to come by achieving better positive outcomes through faster results at a lower cost.
“cp3o assisted Collective for Youth with two data-driven projects on short notice,” continued Williams. “cp3o went over and above our expectations and delivered in a timely manner, saving our organization time, energy, and money.”
To learn more about cp3o, please click here.