A winner at this year's Microsoft Partner Awards is showing how data can help transform social services.
While the lead government social services ministry has launched an investigation into a privacy breach that tarnished central government's data programme, Stand Children's Services is already using advanced analytics to improve outcomes for at-risk kids.
Stand, a charity providing home and school social services to children aged five to 12, was one beneficiary of Microsoft's Cloud for Global Good programme, receiving analytics software and implementation from Microsoft partner Stellar Consulting.
Not-for-profits such as Stand hold rich but often untapped datasets that are vital for measuring and improving community outcomes, Stellar consulting partner Travis Barker said. Most lack the resources and capability to leverage technology to its full potential.
Stellar worked pro bono to help Stand utilise the analytics capabilities of Microsoft's Azure cloud platform.
The output is a series of dashboards that provide insights into the effectiveness of Stand's activities and programmes and allow these to be fine-tuned to boost effectiveness further.
Improvements in children's behaviour and parental attitudes can be monitored and outliers targeted for further investigation.
“Now, it’s very quick for us to spot the outliers and high-risk cases, and we can also tell where we have bottlenecks in our organisation that are impacting our front-line services,” said Stand CIO, Richard Parry.
“We see clients faster, deal with them much more efficiently, and their outcomes will be better because we can spot potential problems before they happen.”
Partner awards were made across 22 categories last week.
“The winners of this year’s Partner Awards are high-calibre technology companies and have demonstrated proactive and innovative forward-thinking to help Microsoft deliver on its global mission of empowering people and organisations to adapt to digital transformation,” said Microsoft New Zealand’s newly-appointed director for small, midmarket solutions and partner group, Phil Goldie.
The full list of winners:
Cloud CRM - Magnetism
Cloud Productivity - Kinetics
Communications - Spark Digital
ERP - Theta
Small and Midmarket Cloud Solutions - IT Engine
Cloud Platform - Provoke
Enterprise Mobility Solutions - Datacom
Managed Service - Lucidity
Windows and Devices Deployment - Fujitsu
Cloud Packaged Solution - Crossware
Data Platform and Analytics - UXC Eclipse
Internet of Things - Datacom
Learning - Ripped Orange
Licensing - Spark Digital
Market Development - Ingram Micro
Modern Marketing - Intergen
Partner Seller - James David, Datacom
Rising Star - Inde Technology Ltd
Solution Sales Specialist - Nick Westbrook, Provoke
Public Sector, Education - PCMedia
Public Sector, Education - New Era IT
Public Sector, Government - Information Leadership
Technology for Good - Stellar Consulting