University of Calgary: Transforming the Students’ Union with data-driven decisions

March 20, 2014

henry-r-profileBy Henry Rosvick
Coordinator, Student Organizations
The Students’ Union, The University of Calgary

As a non-profit organization, The Students’ Union at the University of Calgary had to look for innovative ways of numerically representing the impact of student run organizations on the undergraduate experience to justify funding allocations. Prior to implementing OrgSync, there was heavy reliance on anecdotal evidence, self-reported financial and membership information, and lot and lots of paper. Having accurate data was difficult, if not impossible, to obtain.

Then along came OrgSync.

At first we did not see the potential for reporting that OrgSync provided us. We were primarily interested in paperless forms, and number crunching was still on the back-burner. We progressed through our first year, collecting forms and approving events.

Click here for a sample of the SU Clubs Report report.

Click here to view the SU Clubs Report.

In April we looked back on what we had done in the last year, and there it was. Data, right at our fingertips. Forms had data, portals had data, and everything was tracked and counted. From this we decided to put together our first SU Clubs Report, which would serve as the hard data back-up when it came to budget time.

At the time most clubs only had executives in their portals. We collected spreadsheet membership lists from our clubs as a substitute, and this allowed us to compile a complete student membership list. For the first time ever we

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were able to see accurately the total number of students who were members of our organizations.

The data didn’t stop there. Each form we collected was reported on, providing us with the most comprehensive look at how our services were utilized, where problem areas were, and what we were doing right. This has enabled us to make educated, accurate, and justifiable changes to our budgets, policies, and procedures.

Putting together the report had seemed daunting initially, but OrgSync makes it very easy to either directly read statistics off the reports page, or export the full data set out to a spreadsheet. From there it was a matter of putting it all together in one report.

Within one year, OrgSync transformed The Students’ Union Clubs system from a poorly understood mash-up of student organizations, into an organized department with data to back it up.

  • Eric Fortenberry

    Awesome job, Henry! Thanks for sharing how OrgSync is helping you track data on your clubs and students involvement so that you’re able to assess, report on, and communicate the impact on the undergraduate experience.

    Keep up the good work, and as always let us know how we can continue improving OrgSync to better support your department and assessment initiatives!

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