Increasingly, human service providers find they need better tools for planning and decision making to increase efficiency and effectiveness of service delivery. In order for information to be useful for this purpose, it needs to be timely, relevant and available in sufficient detail in a flexible manner to decision makers and planners. Information technology is being enthusiastically seen as a critical tool for addressing these needs of service providers.
Technological innovations combined with data are being sought for meeting various needs such as health status and quality of life assessments, integrated planning, programmatic decision-making, evaluation of outcomes and targets, and dissemination and communication. Data output needs to be customized according to the user (administrator, manager, staff, public) and according to intended use (planning, evaluation, report, research) using hard copy or via intranet or internet. Data can be presented in tables, charts, graphs, or maps to make output more understandable and relevant to local contexts.
As virtually all provinces in Canada move to either decentralized or devolved governance of human services, the need for reliable and relevant information at the local level for decision-making has become greater than ever. The information is needed for a variety of regional decision-making functions, such as local planning, setting priorities, allocating resources, and managing and delivering services. It is more desirable if the information is generated locally, and managed or controlled locally.
In collaboration with the City of Saskatoon, Saskatoon Public School Division, Saskatoon Greater Catholic Schools, and other Saskatoon Regional Intersectoral Committee agencies, Public Health Services of the Saskatoon Health Region has facilitated the development of a regional comprehensive community information system, the CommunityView CollaborationTM. The primary features of the system are:
- The assembly of data from multiple sources, and;
- A system supported by appropriate information technologies and tools for end-user analysis including the use of a Geographic Information System (GIS).
CommunityView makes possible inter-sectoral and inter-jurisdictional data sharing and access among human services organisations. The primary objective of this sharing is to ensure consistent, timely, and efficient delivery of a variety of sources of data along with sophisticated user tools to combine, analyse and visualise data selected from across the breadth of data sets.
CommunityView provides a common automated platform replacing multiple manual inter-sectoral and inter-jurisdictional information sharing processes among many human services organizations. The main power of CommunityView lies in its ability to view from a wide variety of data sources by different geographic boundaries and stratifications for use in monitoring and reporting.
CommunityView is a key tool to support local decision-making for a variety of human service providers. CommunityView enables strategic decision-makers to identify and prioritize population needs, configure human service systems, promote cross-sectoral partnerships, and evaluate and monitor service utilization and program outcomes. A future key component of CommunityView will be the linkable (relational) database, which will assemble data from multiple sources, throughout the human service sector, and which will be supported by appropriate information technologies and tools for end-user analysis including the use of a Geographic Information System (GIS).
The CommunityView Collaboration is a partnership across human service sectors where all members contribute to and access data appropriate to their needs.
Some users will need to have the limitations of specific data types explained and the meaning of the information interpreted, while others will be able to do independent analysis of the data. Depending on the audience, a varied degree of interpretation and explanation will be provided with the data.
- CommunityView will enhance strategic decision-making by improving the quality of data used, expanding the breadth of relevant data available, and presenting information in an easily understandable manner;
- CommunityView will facilitate the use of evidence in planning and delivery of services by making information directly available (e.g., on-line) to key staff members in all participating sectors;
- CommunityView will ensure consistent, timely, and efficient data delivery by assembling and managing a single repository which incorporates a variety of sources and elements of data;
- CommunityView will increase staff skills in the analysis, interpretation, and application of information in planning by providing training in the principles of data use, attributes of the database, and analysis tools;
- CommunityView will promote partnerships and collaboration within and among human service organizations by sharing data, information and other resources;
- CommunityView will contribute to the research by facilitating data sharing among researchers and partnering organizations, and by communicating findings of original research.
The CommunityView CollaborationTM will contribute to the evidence required by each participating organization or agency for policy development, planning, allocation of resources, service provision, and research priorities.
The goal of the workshop is to familiarize you or your organization with the resources and functionality available on CommunityView.
The workshop will be offered on a quarterly basis. Workshop schedule coming soon.
Please contact us by email or phone at 306-655-4682 for more information about CommunityView workshops.