Doug Stockham, President of the Emergency Assistance Foundation (EAF), was able to keep up with a rising analytics demand by leveraging Zuar's end-to-end, NetSuite + Tableau solution. In two weeks, EAF went from manual, static reporting to fully automated, embedded analytics.
Emergency Assistance Foundation (EAF)
Established in 2011, Emergency Assistance Foundation is a 501(c)(3) public charity that helps corporations establish disaster and hardship relief funds so that grants can be awarded to their eligible team members who are impacted by unexpected and unavoidable financial hardships or disasters. EAF currently administers more than 300 relief funds, serving over 10 million individuals across six continents.
Early on, EAF’s typical process was to receive a spike of applications followed by a lull. During the lull, the team would process most applications in preparation for the next spike. By the end of the month, EAF had 15 days to send out a static report to their Fund Partners (organizations sponsoring a relief fund).
2017 was an exceptional year for natural disasters. From August through September, 13 disasters were reported around the globe (including the well-known hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria). This caused a monumental spike in grant applications...
In 2017 we went from 200 grant applications a month to 2,000 a month. It took us five months before we started slowing down. We just could not keep up, date wise... - Doug Stockham, President, EAF
Data Collection Methods
Due to the increased demand, EAF needed a way to track these grant applications. They reached out to a few partners who helped them get up and running with Oracle's NetSuite ERP cloud solution. NetSuite allowed EAF to track incidents, applications, and finances. Once NetSuite was up and running, EAF realized that they also needed a way to quickly visualize and analyze the data that was flowing into NetSuite, and their current reporting tools were insufficient.
Our information was static, and it was always behind. We really needed real time data, so in times of disaster, EAF and our Fund Partners could see how many people are applying. -Doug Stockham, President, EAF
In order for EAF to begin analyzing their application and financial data, they needed:
- A way to extract all of it from NetSuite.
- A place to store the extracted data.
- A method to transform their data so that it could used for analysis.
- A way to automate the entire process.
They found all of this in Zuar's data staging platform, Mitto. With Mitto's NetSuite integration, they were able to create an automated data pipeline that moved data from NetSuite to Mitto's built in PostgreSQL cloud database. They were then able to use Mitto's sequential job runner to transform the data with custom SQL. They then set everything on a schedule so that the entire pipeline could run automatically.
Analyze, Visualize and Embedding NetSuite Data
Now that EAF had an automated data pipeline with curated data models, it was time to analyze, visualize, and share their insights internally and with Fund Partners. EAF selected Tableau to be their Business Intelligence platform. Being new to Tableau and lacking the internal resources at the time, EAF needed someone with the expertise to help with analysis and visualization. EAF was able to leverage Zuar's Tableau consulting team.
Visual Analytics and Presentation
After a series of dashboards were built by the Zuar team, it was time to share these insights. The dashboards were embedded into EAF's Fund Partner solution and they were granted access to real time reporting.
There are a handful of benefits that EAF has realized since implementation of their visual analytics solution. Some of those benefits include:
- Real time reporting of high level numbers embedded into a Fund Partner dashboard so that they have access to stats related to number of registrants, applications, and approval rates.
- Fund Partner access to grant requests.
- Improved internal communication between Fund Partners and donors.
- Visibility into locations of natural disasters, how that relates to the location of team members, and where grants are being awarded.
- Improved data literacy across EAF and Fund Partners, which has also helped Fund Partners communicate with their internal team and donors.
- Saving time and resources for EAF due to the ease and automation of their reporting process.
- Ability to integrate multiple sources of data for advanced analysis.
Internal Data Resources
One surprising outcome for EAF was the ability to not only provide analytics to their Fund Partners, but also for internal teams. EAF has a suite of dashboards that display KPIs like:
- Application response time
- Amount of applications and average time to review an application by specific reviewers
- Donation amounts vs. budget amounts
- Grant amounts vs. budget amounts
- Percentage of awarded applications by day, week, month, year
- Application rate vs. percentage of eligible individuals applying within an organization
- Cross slicing registrations across industries and company sizes to create averages
We pretty much have every KPI you can imagine and we go through them every Monday morning with the entire team so that people know where they fit. - Doug Stockham, President, EAF
All of these KPIs allow EAF to set goals for the organization. They have also allowed EAF to clean up their data entry process as they have started using Tableau to verify their numbers.
In 2021, EAF awarded more than $60 million in grants to 76,000 individuals impacted by unforeseen disasters and personal hardships. Since implementation, their automated, end-to-end visual analytics solution has improved many aspects of their business. EAF has built a Data Value Chain, allowing them to answer questions and solve internal problems quickly. They have created an automated data pipeline that:
- Connects to NetSuite
- Pipes data from NetSuite to Mitto's PostgreSQL database
- Runs SQL transformations on the data to model it for analytics
- Integrates NetSuite data with other data sources
- Automates the data flow on a schedule
- Analyzes and visualizes the data in Tableau
- Embeds the insights to be shared with partners, donors, and internal business units
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