You want to show the success you have had with the work you do for your clients, but your CMS doesn’t have a place to store a history of the measuring points which would demonstrate this progress.
For example, if you are a Housing counseling agency, you must submit quarterly client data to HUD. HUD has expressed interest in knowing how a client’s credit score has improved because of counseling. You have saved the beginning credit score in your CMS. If you pull another credit report and save the new credit score, replacing the first one, the history is lost—OR IS IT? Probably not.
Quarterly submission of client data to HUD (which includes the client’s credit score) is saved by your CMS. That means the history of your client’s measurable progress in quarterly steps is available for your analysis. Other parameters of interest available in HUD submission history are: Monthly Household Debt, Monthly Household Income, Total counseling sessions duration and AMI level.
You need to analyze identical spreadsheet data from multiple time periods
What’s the easiest way to analyze data from multiple spreadsheets? MERGE THE DATA (concatenate the files), sort the merged data on the date of service, then sort the new file on Last Name , or Client ID. (Using Client ID will eliminate errors arising from a name change or multiple clients with the same last name during the time periods.) You can now observe changes in parameters over time for each client. If you can identify what constitutes a positive change, communicate this to your resident programmer so the merged file can be used as source data for a report which can demonstrate positive outcomes (numbers of, dimensions of, cost of, savings of…). Imagine the usefulness of such a data-backed report as ammunition for your upcoming grant-writing efforts.
You need to merge data from diverse spreadsheets
Find a common key (such as Name), then call the Programmer. A custom program can be written in about the same amount of time it would take to manually merge the desired data into one spreadsheet. The program runs in a fraction of the time and is then available to run every time the merge operation is required, making a tedious, time-consuming task unnecessary. This type of merged information is invaluable when you find you need to synchronize information from multiple databases (e.g. for audit purposes), or using multiple reports from a single database (e.g. for time-based billing vouchers).
You don’t have a resident programmer?
. I’m available to examine the types of data you need for your reports, the data that’s available in your database(s), and come up with a solution that satisfies.