Part V: Start Accommodating Evidence Based Funding Models Today with ETO
Bojan Cubela is the Director of Workforce Strategy at Social Solutions. He helps Government agencies improve program performance measurement and overcome challenges with data interoperability tools.
Bojan was recently interviewed about a wide variety of Workforce Development agency topics. We will be releasing portions of this interview in a multi part series highlighting several Workforce Development discussions.
In part 4 of this interview, Bojan discussed how to become a high performing organization. In the fifth and final edition, Bojan talks about the value in aggregated data dashboards, evidence based funding models, and the availability of Social Solutions ETO software.
Interviewer: We spoke briefly about data dashboards in the last interview, what is the value in dashboards that aggregate across multiple systems?
I think it’s really important to point out our ETO system can be used to track any programs, those who use our system can use it for other programs and funding streams. That’s what we mean when we talk about efficiency.
When you’re in Efforts To Outcomes and you’re a partner, you can share referrals with each other. Any data that goes from an agency to an agency or a partner to a partner, can be retained. The data, the essential case management case loads, case files, can all be viewed at 360 level to see how well the services and aggregates are performing.
These aggregate data dashboards are so valuable because thy allow you to get a high level status of all your programs quickly and easily.
Interviewer: That makes sense. Moving forward what other issues do you see on the horizon for local agencies and performance reporting software?
Bojan: I’m glad you asked me this, moving forward funding will be distributed under a relatively new concept, the Evidence Based Funding Model.
“Evidence based funding occurs when agency funding is based on results and performance outcomes”
Evidence based funding occurs when agency funding is based on the results and performance outcomes. The federal government is interested in understanding what works, so they want more and more of these local agencies to use evidence in their decisions so they can better server the population.
Our software is uniquely capable of accommodating the evidence based funding model, it’s very easy to adopt, can be deployed quickly, and gives you access to the performance data the government wants to see.
We like to talk about performance management, right?
Case management is typically the term used when agencies refer to tracking participant program services.
At Social Solutions, we prefer to call it outcomes oriented case management systems. We need to talk about case management, but we need to realize the case management landscape is changing. A new breed of tools developed for evidence based funding will be requisites of any high performance agency moving forward.
We want to talk about state of the art tools, best of breeds, right? Best of the breed means you don’t settle with a vendor just because they have the tools you need, you choose a vendor because they offer the best product in the space.
There are a number of vendors that agencies get stuck with because they needed services that a vendor provided. This vendor wasn’t the best, they simply offered the desired services and were readily available.
These vendors software doesn’t excel or exceed expectations, but its suitable.
The way it is now, and the way it will be in the future, agencies can get pieces of software solutions from different sources, they can mix and match them if you will. The local agencies can pick the vendor with the best software.
Integrating interoperable systems like ETO or other modern technologies that are easily integrated with other systems via API’s, allows for increased flexibility.
“We are certainly promoting the fact that our ETO system has easy integration, easy utilities, and an API that makes it user friendly”
We are certainly promoting the fact that our ETO system has easy integration, easy utilities, and an API that makes it end user friendly.
Its also cost effective solution as the needs change and as the funding requirements move toward the evidence based funding model we discussed earlier.
Another new industry theme is going beyond common measures of what the workforce system collects and reports on.
Recently, we had a very successful webinar, Going Beyond Common Measures. It generated a lot of interest into what these key performance indicators are that can help agencies be more efficient, more outcomes oriented in an effort to become a high performing organization.
Similar to the evidence based funding model is “evidence based approach” which is basically the same thing, just another term for the way in which grant funding is distributed.
When an agency is required to evaluate performance as a part of a federal grant, ETO software is an extremely useful tool. It is highly praised by our customers; Urban Institute, Matematica, ICF, MDRC to name a few.
Moving forward, the government is pushing each agency towards an evidence based funding approach.
“Moving forward, the government is pushing each agency towards an evidence based funding approach.”
Interviewer: What can consumers expect in terms of pricing? With all of these robust features it must be pricy.
We often have customers come to us and say, “You can do all this with the software? It costs what, millions?” We’re like, “No. You can do all of that with much more conservative budget.”
We want potential customers to know that our software is very obtainable. While we do work with large organizations, small ones benefit from our tools as well. We develop tools with the end user in mind, because the biggest problem in the world of case management, if you will, is that people do not enter data. There are many tools that can produce good data if data is in the system, but a key component is ease of use.
I think we often talk about the fact that ETO is configured with conditional rules that we have and everything to keep things simple and not cumbersome, but depending on their answers, they can then be prompted to get more opportunities to integrate. The better we are at inputting data and controlling the input, the better we are at reporting.
Could your agency put more funding to good use? See how you can consistently demonstrate incremental improvements in program quality.
View Part I: Issues with Workforce Development Outcomes
View Part II: The Importance of Interoperable Case Management Software
View Part IV: How to Become a High Performing Organization