‘Internal communication and transparancy got a big boost’
“Information and financial data are indispensable for your organization, but how do you use them in a structured and functional way? With this issue development organization CTA (Technical Center for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation) also faced challenges before they sought for collaboration with In Summa. How are they now?
Why this collaboration?
CTA has been committed for many years to promoting food security, resilience and inclusive economic growth in Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific (ACP). With the recent shift in its strategy to provide direct support to well over a million small-scale producers, dozens of projects have yielded a huge amount of information, data and results, which need to be processed promptly and shared widely. CTA receives data from its partner organisations from ACP countries in various formats making it almost impossible to provide a comprehensive and harmonised data set that could easily be managed and exploited. Aware of the capability of Power BI, CTA searched the IT services market in the Netherlands for a while and has been very fortunate to come across In Summa, as explained in this short narrative.
Structure and transparency
Aurélie Reynier, M & E Officer (Monitoring & Evaluation) at CTA, says: “It is important for us that we manage to structure and visualize our data, so it becomes usable for our external shareholders, but also for our own colleagues. That was difficult for us, because a lot of information came in incomplete and in varying formats on different parts of our systems. “When In Summa got in, the work started with the restructuring of all data. Niki de Leeuw, Business Intelligence Specialist at In Summa: “Which projects are running, how long do they last, which target group CTA wants to reach with the available data and how do they want to make the information transparent? We map everything, so that I can make reports on it.”
Reports go live
The first report goes live within a few weeks. Projects are visualized by displaying them on a world map, and can be clicked through on this map for further information per project. In doing so, the wishes of CTA with regard to the house style have always been taken into account: self-organized regions, preference for colors and fonts and the way in which the logo is displayed. In addition, Niki has converted several datasets into clickable pie and bar charts, which can also be zoomed in by region or project. As an additional benefit, the report also forms a stimulant for the various project managers, endorsing Aurélie and Niki. “When project managers only see the data from their respective projects in Excels, it does not motivate them to make sure the information is complete and consistent. With an online report that everyone can see, it is different. “The internal communication and transparency within the organization gets a big boost.”
In the future In Summa will investigate the possibilities of an app for CTA, but first the new website will be launched in just over a month – the result of a successful collaboration in which a lot of people listen to each other. Aurélie: “It is very nice to work with Niki, because she has a lot of attention for our story and is constantly looking for the solution that fits us best. She does not tell us anything, but she thinks in possibilities and has attention for what we need.”