Beyond Dashboards: Business Intelligence Tools for Program Analysis and Reporting

August 8, 2012
Strategic, mission-critical decisions require a clear understanding of program performance, but for most nonprofits, making decisions on facts rather than gut feelings is easier said than done. As a way to better understand program performance and become more responsive to changes, organizations are increasingly turning to dashboards—custom utilities that gather, organize and present information in an accessible way—that let them more effectively measure, monitor and manage the way they meet their missions. There are a number of ways to create dashboards, including using such common tools such as Excel or Access, or proprietary systems embedded in databases. But these approaches can lead to dashboards that are not very user-friendly and difficult to update.

Sharing Back-Offices in the Cloud: The Case of Environment America

July 26, 2012
Data is dynamic, not static, and so are organizations—which means that over time, the data they need to track changes as they change. Identifying those evolving data points takes effort and thoughtfulness, especially for an organization whose staff is already burdened tracking data for funder-mandated reporting requirements.

Sharing Back-Offices in the Cloud: The Case of the Chattanooga Museums Collaborative

July 26, 2012
When the Creative Discovery Museum (CDM) found itself struggling to make ends meet after a disappointing first season in 1995, it reached out to the nearby Tennessee Aquarium for help. Though the aquarium was just three years old, its large business operations infrastructure supported a breadth and depth of expertise at all staff levels that the smaller organization could not rival.