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News & Events | Best Practices

Dig Into Data for Process Improvement

July 1, 2020

If streamlined processes, more efficient funding practices, and improved relationships were all within your grasp, would you take action to bring them into your organization? Of course, you would!

Great news! What you need to accomplish this is already at your fingertips. The data and information you’ve collected, formally and informally, is the key to improving internal procedures to benefit you and your stakeholders.

Data you don’t use is precious information and insight you lose! Let’s dive in with a few ideas to look at your data through an improvement-oriented lens and see how the right system can help every step of the way.

Progress report data

If you are collecting progress reports from your partners you have a treasure trove of information! Besides the ever-important assessment of their progress in achieving your goals, there are a number of other things that can be helpful:

   • Assess the number of people being served among similar programs, identify who is excelling and who is struggling and facilitate collaboration.
   • Pinpoint locations and populations that are under-served through your community investments.
   • Use this information to ensure your investment is aligned to your mission and strategic plan.

Number and types of requests for technical assistance

Partner staff turnover, new volunteers, and busy team members may be asking technical questions with each new process. Reviewing the number of questions and identifying themes can help you accurately allocate your time, understand common gaps, and get ahead of the game by filling those gaps before the next process rolls around.

Process timeline challenges

Over your last few processes, you and your stakeholders have probably encountered some persistent speed bumps. Evaluations submitted late, partners struggling to pull together year-end performance data by the report deadline, lack of clarity on deadlines, last minute application submissions, and volunteers unable to attend meetings are all common challenges. You may not be able to avoid them all, but taking stock of your deadlines, communicated expectations, and your team’s and stakeholder’s competing priorities may reveal opportunities for adjustment as well as more efficient processes and strong relationships.

Use of information collected via your processes

Are you using all of the information you are collecting in your applications and reports? Is it making a difference in your decision process or assessment of progress toward your goals? If the answer is “no,” it may be time to remove some questions and streamline your process.

Requests for information from your team and organization leaders

Let’s flip it around! What questions are you consistently receiving from your team and your leadership? How are we progressing on this outcome? How many funded partners do we have? Which programs or projects are funded within a priority area? How many volunteers came to the Site Visit? What populations are receiving specific program services? The list goes on. The real question is, are you able to answer these recurring inquiries? If yes, great! Consider having this information on hand (or proactively providing it!) on a regular basis. If no, tweaking the information you collect from stakeholders, as well as your internal processes, may be the answer all of you are looking for.

How can the right community investment management tool help?

Data and information to streamline your processes and save valuable time is all around you! Without the right tool to collect and assess this information and put solutions into action, the process may be cumbersome and time consuming. Here are a few ways e-CImpact can help you:

   • Customizable forms make it easy for partners to provide critical data and for you to adjust to meet your stakeholders’ needs.
   • Provide guidance, reminders, and updates with scheduled and automated emails.
   • Keep partners and volunteers informed with a home page notices, deadline countdowns, and color-coded, at-a-glance view of their progress
   • Use powerful report templates to aggregate data, analyze submission history, and pinpoint program service reach.
   • Show instructions and guidance from the application level all the way down to an individual question.
   • Provide helpful, easy-to-access reference documents to partners and volunteers.
   • Manage and track participation in events and site visits.
   • SO much more!

Are you ready to dig into your data for more efficient processes? Learn how having e-CImpact in your community investment toolbox can help your organization efficiently and effectively accelerate your journey to more efficient processes by reaching out to the Seabrooks team at


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