Here is the first set of business cases you will have the chance to work on at Innovation Weekend. And you will be able to pitch your own ideas!
Please edit and add comments to these cases - we want them to be as rich and complete as possible.
1. Analyzing and improving marketing campaign effectiveness
Data: Google Analytics, email database
Potential applications: Mobile, BI OnDemand, Xcelsius, financials, email
What types of campaigns are most effective? How do we get people to donate to our cause? What drives people to take action? How do we ensure we are making most efficient use of our scarce marketing resources? How do we respond to breaking news and make instant changes to our strategy? These questions are very difficult to answer without access to the data. And more than that, the data is scattered among multiple disconnected systems. What is needed is a simple way to aggregate these data sources and present the information in a way that can be easily interpreted. The data must be actionable and those actions linked back into our financial and marketing systems. We also need this information to be available to anyone, anywhere. Sometimes it seems like we run our org from iPhones so mobility is key to the solution
Link to business case: Analyzing and improving marketing campaign effectiveness
2. National-Regional coordination
Potential applications: Mobile, BPM, Streamwork
Challenge: As a national organization we set goals and targets across the U.S. However, each of our local offices operates quite independently. While this gives us a lot of flexibility to serve each region well, it makes it very difficult to coordinate efforts, report success in a consistent way and ensure that we are taking advantage of economies of scale. What we need is something to help with planning and execution that spans the national-regional-local continuum. This needs to include communication, collaboration, measurement, reporting and mobile access. In addition, we need to ensure that the system is open and can accept imports from sources like local volunteer databases, financial applications (since not everyone is on the same platform) and contact management systems
Link to busines case: National-Regional coordination
3. Measuring and managing performance
Data: Process in Demonstrating Value, impact data
Potential applications: BI Ondemand, Xcelsius, Streamwork, mobile
The Potluck Cafe and Catering Society in Vancouver, Canada, one of the city's most successful social enterprises, operates a cafe and corporate catering service generating revenue of approximately $1 million per year. With this revenue, Potluck is able to provide over 26,000 free meals to residents of the Portland Hotel Society - residents with severe addiction, mental and physical health issues. In addition, Potluck hires and trains local residents, providing meal support, bus passes and life skills coaching. Even with these successes, however, Potluck was hard-pressed to quantify and articulate the value it was delivering to funders and community stakeholders, and therefore having a difficult time engaging their Board of Directors in effective strategic planning.
Like Potluck, most nonprofit organizations face heavy demands for data reports, studies and proposals showcasing their mission and social cause. Unfortunately, most of these organizations are often stuck needing to spend vast amounts of their scarce time and resources trying to identify, locate and portray the necessary data in a meaningful way on a case-by-case basis. As a result, much reporting is solely anecdotal, hindering an organization's ability to effectively demonstrate their value and engage in effective planning.
There are also challenges in collecting the data from front line staff, communicating results internally and using the data to make better real-time decisions - both at a management and operational level.
To address this need locally, Vancouver's Vancity Community Foundation and other funders came together with Potluck and other select local organizations to form the "Demonstrating Value Project". This initiative was designed to explore frameworks that could better enable these organizations to understand, communicate and assess their financial performance, organizational sustainability and mission-related impact. SAP Business Objects is a major funder of the project, contributing financial resources, strategic advice, technical resources and software.
Link to business case: Measuring and managing performance
4. Optimizing fundraising processes
Business Process: Fundraising and Donor Predictability
Data: Raiser's Edge (fundraising application)
Potential applications: Explorer, BI OnDemand, mobile, BPM
Arts Umbrella is Canada's preeminent arts institute for young people, ages 2 to 19. The not-for-profit began operating in a small rented space in 1979, with 45 children attending. Today, Arts Umbrella operates in a 22,000-square-foot facility in Vancouver, British Columbia, and has numerous partnerships with other organizations across the province of BC. Arts Umbrella estimates that, during 2006 and 2007, more than 36,000 children attended classes, workshops, and outreach performances. Arts Umbrella has more than 150 staff and faculty members, making it the second largest employer of artists in the province. In addition, over 300 volunteers assist in a variety of ways, predominantly in fundraising efforts.
While Arts Umbrella has grown steadily to become a world-class art center, technology in general at the organization has been a slow-going process. In the year 2000, Arts Umbrella changed its database system over to Raiser's Edge, a database used primarily by not-for-profits in the fundraising sector. "Unfortunately," says Scott Elliott, director of development at Arts Umbrella, "we didn't have the capacity in-house to run that system properly. And we had no training. So we floundered around, not able to pull any reports out of the database at all."
Arts Umbrella requires the production and distribution of a variety of reports, but two reports are especially critical - on a weekly basis. One is a forecast report, which summarizes the other report needed: a full listing of who the organization's canvassers are, who the canvassers' prospects are, what kinds of funds are expected from these prospects, and so on. Compiling these reports was a difficult, time-consuming process. "I would export pretty much raw numbers from Raiser's Edge into an Excel file," says Elliott. "And then I'd spend literally days massaging those numbers to get them into some kind of report. I never had any confidence in the finished report. Another problem was that I wasn't able to correct errors in a quick manner because we were running two systems. Whatever I had in the Excel system, I had to re-input back into Raiser's Edge. It just wasn't dynamic at all."
In addition, the reports and data were difficult to access - especially for those working remotely, interacting with potential donors and those attending events.
Link to business case: Optimizing fundraising processes
5. Financial management
Data: QuickBooks/Simply Accounting/SAP
Potential applications: Business One, Business ByDesign, Xcelsius, Crystal Reports, mobile
Challenge: Running multiple systems makes it very difficult to get a single picture of our organizations financial status. We need to answer questions like how much it is costing us to manage our volunteers? Are we utilizing our staff most effectively? How much does it cost to deliver our services by type and how does that compare to benchmarks? How can we organize our financials in a way that is useful for both our internal management and for external reporting to government and funders?
Link to business case: Financial management
6. Social media integration
Potential applications: Mobile, streamwork, Facebook, Twitter, Wordpress, Drupal
Challenge: We need better ways to engage our constituents. We can't rely on people coming directly to our site to find volunteer opportunities, learn about our services or donate to us. We need to "go where the people are". We want to be able to push our content to the various social media services, engage people there and connect them to our network. By their very nature, these services will required a mobile delivery platform. We also need to measure the success of our efforts by tracking conversion rates (i.e. from reading a post, to registering to be a volunteer to attending a volunteer event).
Link to Las Vegas business case: Social Media Integration
Favorited by: Oliver and Matthias and Dick - (currently brainstorming about it)
Link to business case: Social media integration
Potential application: ABAP, Web Dynpro for ABAP
Challenge: Build an foundation for a social networking plattform which respect privatery rights and help to collabrate.
Team up posibilities: Possiblity to team up with business case 6.)
Link to business case:"SAPBOOK"
Favorited: Guido Brune
8. "Physician: Heal Thyself": Improving the SCN from within!
Posted by: Sarah Otner GOAL: Improve the recognition systems of SCN by examining the historical data
- Does the SCN recognition system reward the right kinds of behaviors and contributions?
- What's the real value of being a Top Contributor?
PROBLEM: Initial attempts to pull the source data already available on SCN into Excel failed as they only returned 10 lines and the same 10 lines upon each request (a problem when one Top Contributor table has 17,000 individuals).
- A database of community members and their activity year-on-year for as many years as is available.
- Scrape the Contributor Recognition Program, the Top Contributors' lists, the Topic Leaders' lists, and the Mentors' rosters into a format easily manipulable (by me! J) for analysis
- Desired variables (*not exhaustive):
o Year joined SCN
o Lifetime points (CRP)
o Points per year (CRP)
o SAP Employee? (yes/no) Since when?
o Mentor? (yes/no) Since when?
o Top Contributor? (yes/no)
o Topic Leader? (yes/no)
o Geographic location
o Company? (or companies, if >1, and when changed)
o Job title?
o Technical expertise (certification)?
o (SCN) Area of expertise?
o LinkedIn Bio integrated into business card? (yes/no)
- Part of a Ph.D. on reputation and social status in electronic networks of practice (ENoP)
- Recognition systems that provide value for contributors
- Recognition systems that encourage healthy community behaviors, which in turn strengthen the ENoP
Link to business case: Improving the SCN from within
9. "Kindergarten Busy Bee Tracker"
Potential application: Google Apps, Google Spreadsheets, River, BIOnDemand,BPM
Challenge: Listening to the issues faced with not for profit (NFP) organisations in Business Case 3, this is looking at the general requrement of many distributed smaller entities within a NFP organisation and standardising how they track various information in various formats. The idea is to see how cloud technologies can provide holistic yet easily deployable solutions in order to standardize processes in these organisations for maximum efficiency, less data manipulation, and quicker more visible reporting.
The specific business case comes from the requirement in Kindergartens for parents to be involved a certain number of hours per child per year. Parents typically need to provide 8 hours of activity time per year per child although they can opt to also pay a dollar amount for time they do not commit to this task. Curently this is typically done via manual maintenance of a spreadsheet, is prone to error, and puts the onus on the Kindergarten support staff to get this right since there is a financial aspect to this. The added complexities include the fact parents can swap with each other regularly, payments can be made for less than the full amount based on how much time they can commit, children leaving would not be collected upon, etc.
Note - This business case was defined after looking through the technologies to see what we would like to prove, plus identifying a reusable framework that could be deployed in organisations not just limited to Kindergartens.
Link to business case and Innovation Weekend outcomes: Kindergarten Busy Bee Tracker
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