Office 365: Helping Measure What Matters In Your Organization

Written by Shawn Lyles

October 16, 2014

Office 365: Helping Measure What Matters In Your Organization

Since most key business performance measures don’t really work for non-profit organizations, organizations sometimes need to develop specialized measures to help them achieve their strategic plans. Like measuring the amount of money spent on effective resources and program services rather than money spent on management and general expenses. Most non-profit organizations track their performance by metrics such as membership growth, dollar raised, people helped, or overhead costs. These metrics and measurements can help the overall organization grow, but they are not always the best indicators of success for a non-profit organization trying to achieve its goals and mission.

Effectively managing an organizations performance begins with a clear understanding of what the organization is trying to achieve, what is being done currently, what progress has been made and what is needed to help the organization reach their goals and complete their mission.

3 steps to effectively measure your non-profit performance with Office 365 and Power Bi

Comparison and stacking up with Power Query:

Office 365: How does your organization measure up?

When you compare your non-profit to others, you are able to identify standards and best practices to apply in measuring and improving performance. If you are new seeing how your non-profit stacks up to other organizations can also help determine where you are starting from. In order to track improvement it is critical to establish a baseline in which comparing can provide.
PowerQuery is perfect for combining multiple data sources from multiple formats into one table for in-depth comparisons. PowerQuery is a powerful tool that will help you prepare for your proper comparing of organizations.

Setting goals with SharePoint:
Once you know where you are starting from, the next thing is find out where you are going. Having a clear understanding about your desired outcomes is a crucial part of the non-profit performance measurement processes.
When setting goals for your non-profits performance, there are a few things you should keep in mind:

  1. Relevance: It is important to look at your organizations mission and align all your current and future goals to it. By making sure your goals are aligned properly you can ensure that your actions and implementation is in pursuing the correct path that will take your organization to your “mission location”.
  2. Attainability: Understanding how your non-profit stacks up to other organizations will help in setting realistic outcome targets with your goals setting. It is always important to not set goals that are such a struggle to achieve that they can seem unattainable. On the other hand you have to set goals that will be an accomplishment for your organization, so you don’t risk your organization not improving.
  3. Measurability: Metrics for a non-profit are important, so being able to actually measure your goals is a necessity.
    Setting goals for any non-profit organization without the input of others can put your organization in danger of not getting the goal completed or having the organizations focus set on irrelevant goals. Using SharePoint to set and share goals will help keep your relevant, measurable and attainable goals completed.

Implementation with PowerPivot:
Now that you have done your comparisons and goal setting, it’s time to figure out how you can actually implement this well thought out plan. Data collecting is an important part of the implementation process.
PowerPivot is a window inside of Excel that lets you perform powerful data analysis with huge amounts of data. PowerPivot will transform those huge amounts of data you have collected with super fast speeds to information that your organization will use to analyze your organizations mission impact.
With all this data collected and processed, you can check the reporting requirements of any funding sources you may be seeking. By ensuring early on that the data you are collecting and measuring matches the information that the funding sources wants to see, you will make the grant review processes flow much easier.

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