By 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.
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
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.