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Rebecca Sawtell, Head of Marketing and Communications, 1610
"At that time, we were spending a huge amount of time pulling together reports across our 19 sites, with staff having to collate data manually or from multiple Plus2 reports. These reports are essential not only for monitoring performance and supplying KPI data to council clients, but also for helping us make decisions on how we develop and grow the business – yet we were often spending more time gathering the data than actually acting on what the data showed.
The two days’ eyeQ training from Gladstone enabled us to build some of the simpler reports we needed using the intuitive Query Builder, but we didn’t have the expertise in-house to develop the more complex reports we wanted using the Custom SQL option. For this reason we decided to invest in Gladstone’s data consultancy service in November 2015
This process involved our senior management team sitting down to review the existing reports we used, as well as key business and trend data it would be useful to have access to, followed by a conference call with the consultant to confirm that this could be achieved.
The consultant then spent two days working on-site with our MIS administrator to build the reports. These included a sales income analysis, which allows managers to monitor sales income lines on a daily basis; a cash debt report enabling managers and finance staff to track unpaid debts on the system; booking ‘no-show’ reports, and class and sports development viability reports.
As well as delivering the reports we needed at that time, the data consultancy enabled us to upskill a member of our team, giving her a greater understanding of how eyeQ works and the confidence to tweak or even build from scratch any reports we might need going forward.
That said, the ongoing support from Gladstone has been excellent. Whenever we’ve been stuck, the consultant has been at the end of the phone, and has even helped us to build a couple more bespoke reports.
One of the biggest advantages of eyeQ is its use of a reporting data layer (RDL), which extracts fresh data from the Plus2 database every 24 hours. Before eyeQ, it took one member of staff half a day to pull together all the data required for one of our reports, each time it was needed; now it just updates daily.
This instant access to performance data gives greater transparency, allowing business decisions to be made more quickly and with more confidence – particularly when planning new initiatives to drive programme or user development. For example, when one report revealed there were far fewer men than women attending group exercise classes across the organisation, our marketing team planned a specific campaign to drive male attendance.
Another effect of eyeQ is that, since we are now able to easily generate reliable reports, we have started to display many of these on the staff intranet. This gives our employees a better understanding of the business and in particular how their centre or area is performing compared to others in the group. In a competitive industry such as ours this is a huge motivator. At the same time it makes staff more accountable, by underlining just how easy it now is for management to review performance.
The major benefit of eyeQ, however, has undoubtedly been the huge reduction in the amount of time our staff spend producing reports – meaning they can now concentrate on improving the customer experience and developing the business based on the data shown."
As a customer of Gladstone for 14 years Active Inverness also uses:-