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What are the benefits of HomelessData.com over a tool that lets us upload our APR results to produce a dashboard?
Here is a top ten list that describes the major limitations of any dashboarding tools that require the user to run an APR, and submit the results:
- Not automated. This takes work from the admin team to manually submit the results and work on the receiving end to process them.
- No ability to slice and dice the data. It is static output based on whatever reporting parameters were used to generate the APR.
- Little or no ability to have more than one project in a dashboard. This approach would require a region the size of San Diego, for example, to have 300+ dashboards and for someone to submit and process the results for each.
- No ability to cover more than one reporting period in a dashboard. For 300 projects to be run quarterly over a three span would require 3600 APRs.
- No ability to get outcomes such as changes in income for a target population. As an example, in support of any racial disparity analysis that a region may want to conduct, HomelessData.com can run a series of APRs for all projects in the region but only include the results that pertain to clients who are reported in specific race categories.
- No geospatial reporting—a valuable tool for strategic planning.
- No built in Data Quality checks. If the dashboard were to include all projects, which projects should get included? What about projects set up for training or for special cases, such as the Point in Time Count or COVID-19 efforts?
- No ability to look at the results by project type. This is essential if we are to be able to review the impact of each project on our System Performance Measures (SPM)s.
- The scope of each dashboard is limited to only one report type. Capacity utilization for example needs to look at the number of people enrolled (from an APR) and compare it to the number of beds (from the HIC).
- These APR results-based dashboards require that you trust the work of your software vendor. Simtech has been doing this work since 2002, supports everything we do via a virtual help desk, and wrote the official guidance for HUD that vendors are now building reports from and looking to create meaningful output.