Impact Reporting with The Social Collective
Learn how to setup and manage Impact Report on The Social Collective. In this article you will learn how to setup and manage:
- Initiatives / Projects / Programs
- Impact Indicators / KPIs / Objectives Reporting
- Targets a across initiatives and breakdown per implementation partner/unit
- Connecting Indicators to Initiatives - to build reports (be it daily, monthly, annually)
- Adding Organisation to Initiatives - once added organisation admins receive alerts and help ensure reports are captured
- Creating ScoreCards
- Reporting on Initiatives
- Getting more value out of Custom Fields
Understanding Impact Reporting
Your M&E (Monitoring and Evaluation) Framework, objectives, strategy or impact goals can come to life if they are implemented in a system that dynamically manages this very specific type of data. Analysis of report data for your program is easier and so is keeping track of any objective targets that your program might have.
As most of the data can be viewed as charts, we recommend that users with data analysis experience are made responsible for this aspect of your organisations reporting.
Susurate enables you to link initiatives to respective organisations so that stakeholders are able to report on specific indicators and scorecards.
Stakeholders are automatically reminded of upcoming reports which takes away the laborious issue of following up on reports once they are due. It is also easy to see the number of outstanding reports per initiative created and which organisations have not submitted their reports.
Once report data has been collected on the portal, visualization into different graphs in dashboards can be done so that your data tells a story.
Susurate can help with:
- Connecting your key data input requirements
- Automated emails the admins of the organisations you have connected, to ask for reports
- Provide a limited, but powerful, data analysis tool
Susurate can not:
- Provide an AI machine to determine your impact (some smart features exist, but avoid expecting a fully automated report)
- Create new data correlation which have not been predefined via custom fields, indicators and other available feature
To get started your will need to have super administration access to the portal and the feature also needs to be activated for your to have access. This happens once the feature is paid for. Here is the pricing table for the feature.
Creating an Initiative
Initiatives are the projects you would like to track and have your stakeholders report on which can include indicators as well as score cards which you can use to monitor your progress.
The initiative needs to have a specific name, the start and end time as well as the frequency of reporting needed.
An initiative can be edited if need be, however this might result in reported data being lost.
- Daily, weekly monthly can be rolled up to Quarterly and Annual reports. However Annual reports cannot be broken down into daily, weekly or monthly
- Frequencies cannot be edited, as the system generates a series of reporting period to make report collection easy
- If you discover an error in your setup, kindly make use of the archive feature and recreate the initiatives
- We highly recommend monthly for basic setups, as when you build charts you can roll up the data
- Keep your initiative short and to the point. When using this tool you may be working as a Data Analysts in structuring data to determine certain outcomes. Simple is best, as basic mathematics is used to help your reports to generate averages, or totals.
- If you connect over 15 Indicators to an initiative, the report may start to become onerous for the report writer, which may affect your report completion rates and overall data validity
- Connect Organisations in the correct and limited context. Try avoid connecting different types of organisations/projects to a single initiative, as this may result in bad data as some of the connected organisations will be asked to collect and submit irrelevant data which affects the creditability of your reports
Start and End Date Tips:
- Target setting will be done for your entire initiative, if that is 3 years or 20 years. To build the impact picture over time you will need to ensure you are tracking the same indicators across the entire period.
- Connecting the start date to your financial year is a great idea to ensure reporting alignment
Super Administrators can set up targets for the initiatives to outline the goal of the programs and what it tries to achieve within a certain timeframe. You can also set targets for each organisation however the organisation needs to be linked to the reporting initiative.
Setting targets will let you know after each reporting period the progress towards those targets. This article gives you a guide on how to set targets and how you can track progress from the reported data
See how the targets will be displayed for the report writer.
Creating and Adding Indicators
An indicator is a specific, observable and measurable characteristic that can be used to show changes or progress a programme is making toward achieving a specific outcome.
Impact indicators measure what a project has achieved relative to its aims, therefore, promoting accountability.
You can create a library of indicators which will be linked to initiatives that need to be reported on. Impact indicators can be visible to the public meaning anyone with a link to the portal can view them or they can be limited to the organisation admin or a super admin.
Indicators created which are only for Super Admin access will not be open for organisation admins to report on. Ensure the created indicators visibility is grouped accordingly before they are linked to an initiative.
To create an indicator a form is available where you can
- Name the indicator
- Describe exactly what is to be measure/reported on - this text is extremely important to provide clarity to the report writer.
- The unit measure to be used.
- Set aggregation from reported data to either sum/total or average- Do you need to track the average over the initiative period or to add up the numbers captured?
- Select who the indicator is visible to - Public, Private or Super Admins only
- Public - they are visible to all
- Organisation Admins - they are visible to only organisation admins and anyone with Super Admin rights
- Super Admin - they are only visible to users with Super admin rights. Linked organisations are not able to complete any initiatives with indicators that are set as Super Admin
- Keep them few and as generic as possible, however duplication may need to occure and when doing so we recommend a suitable naming conversion, such as: 'Indicator (detail 1)'; 'Indicator (detail 2)', etc.
- Indicators may be assigned to multiple number of initiatives, as you may need to track spend in all your initiatives
- Only ask and collect what you need (this is regulated by law)
Linking Indicators to Initiatives
Once you have created your impact indicators, you will need to link the indicators to an initiative. You can re-arrange the order of the indicators once they have been added to the initiative.
To re arrange, open the initiative which has your indicators and click on the up and down arrows to re-arrange your indicators.
To link indicators to initiatives, select the indicators you want from the library of indicators collected from the initiative dashboard.
Linking Organisations to Initiatives
Organisations refer to the type of projects being tracked on the portal e.g this could be a feeding project or a bursary project.
To get your stakeholders to report on their progress, their organisations need to be linked to the initiative once it has been created and indicators have been added to the initiative.
Your stakeholders and beneficiaries will be notified when reports are due once they are linked to the initiative. This will ensure that your reports are up to date and takes away the administrative burden of following up on reports that have been forgotten.
Reporting on Initiatives
Each stakeholder will have organisation admin rights which will allow them to complete reports linked to specific initiatives. This can also be done by users with super admin rights.
Stakeholders will receive a notification via email of any reports that are due, the email will detail the reporting period of the initiative. This email goes out when the reporting period is over, for example stakeholders will receive an email at the beginning of a new month reminding them to report for the previous month.
The report to the initiative can be accessed by clicking "Report Now", alternatively, the report can accessed via the organisation landing page.
This article explains further on how the organisations go about completing initiative reports.
Scorecards can be created for project tracking, stakeholder compliance or any compliance reporting your company might need.
To create a score card you need to be logged in as super admin and be able to access the Susurate module.
Click "Scorecards" under Susurate and then add a score card. You will need to add the name of the score card created and clearly detail what is going to be measured, from there you can add the questions that need to be reported on by clicking "Add a question"
You can add an estimate/ target for the indicator to help track progress/performance.
The score card needs to be linked to an initiative in order for you to assign it to stakeholders to report on. To link the score card to the initiative you will need to add the score card as an indicator to the initiative.
This article gives a step by step guide on how to create an initiative including the creation of indicators and score cards
Creating Charts and Dashboards
When you have the initiatives set up as above and your stakeholders are completing reports, you can now visualise the report data by creating dashboards which have graphs for each initiative.
Most importantly, you can create a dashboard to provide you with an at-a-glance view of your indicators like this one:
First off, you need to create an empty dashboard that would house all the visualisations you want to include. Susurate has 12 different types of chart styles available depending on the visualisation selected. Charts visualisation to currently select from include:
- Indicator(s) over time
- Indicator(s) by organisation/category
- Indicator overtime/aggregated by organisation/category
- Comparable indicators
- Indicator map
- Organisation map
- Opportunities attendance over time
- Opportunities map
You can also add charts to a framework once the chart is created, this applies mostly to automated graphs that rely on attendance over time.
Charts can be named to make it easy for better explanation of what data is visualised. If a chart has been created in a frame, text can also be included for further analysis of the data in relation to the initiative being tracked.
A step by step guide is available for you on how to create dashboards.
Custom fields also have an influence on your Susurate graphs. You can select to see data for projects/ beneficiaries that have a specific custom field when creating a graph.
The Susurate feature is not only great in organisation reporting, but it's also helpful in tracking data on specific opportunities, especially those that concern session attendance. You can learn more about this visualisation here
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