A Big Data Boost for Dane County and United Way of Dane County

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A new collaboration between United Way of Dane County and eight Madison-area technology experts, including two from MIOsoft Corporation, will create a strategic plan focusing on how United Way can better use data, analytics and technology for community impact. (Revised)

A new collaboration between United Way of Dane County and Madison-area technology experts will create a strategic plan focusing on how United Way can better use data, analytics and technology for community impact.

The eight-member Technology Task Force will guide United Way’s plans for technology and data on several fronts, including:

  • Data-based evaluations of program impacts and effectiveness.
  • Data-backed support for prioritizing efforts to meet current community needs.
  • Better engagement with volunteers and donors.

Madison has a thriving big data community, according to Jordan Barrette, a member of the Task Force and chief operating officer at MIOsoft, a Madison-based data quality and analytics software company. But conversations about big data often focus exclusively on its business role.

“If you’re not in the tech industry, it’s not always clear how Madison’s big data community can be relevant to you,” said Barrette. “We jumped at the chance to work with United Way and show how a partnership between them and the big data community here can directly benefit everyone in Dane County.”

The Task Force’s recommendations will support United Way’s pursuit of its strategic goals, which revolve around improving education, income, health and civic engagement throughout Dane County.

“Increased use and analysis of data will make it possible for us to address the community’s needs, so Dane County can be a place where everyone succeeds,” said Renee Moe, United Way’s President and CEO. “Our community – donors, volunteers and those working toward stability – deserve programs and resources that are both effective and proven to have an impact.”

Task Force members are enthusiastic about the prospect of creating a vision for United Way’s data and analytics, but acknowledge that it might be a challenging road.

“Embracing big data and other new technologies isn’t a simple process for any organization,” said Barrette. “We’re lucky to be in a community where United Way is ready to take on this challenge for the greater good.”

Task Force members are: Carl Grinstead, chair (American Family Insurance); Jordan Barrette (MIOsoft); Bradley Clerkin (BreakFree Solutions); Josh Herritz (MIOsoft); Anton Kapela (5Nines); Tamara Knickmeier (American Family Insurance); Daniel Ovokaitys (First Business Financial Services); Hernan Tocuyo (M3 Insurance).

The Technology Task Force’s report is expected in November 2016.

About MIOsoft Corporation

MIOsoft turns raw data into meaningful, actionable information. Since its founding in 1998, MIOsoft's technology has helped organizations at many scales—from startup companies to Global 2000 enterprises—solve their biggest data quality and analytics challenges. For more information, visit http://www.miosoft.com.

About United Way of Dane County

United Way of Dane County is committed to the vision of a Dane County where everyone can succeed in school, work and life. Our community’s Agenda for Change are six goals focused on three priority areas of Education, Income and Health – the building blocks of a stable life. Through strategic partnerships and collaborative work, we are bringing the many voices of Dane County around a neutral table to find common ground and make progress, while providing organizations and individuals the opportunity to give, advocate and volunteer to change lives in Dane County. For more information, visit http://www.unitedwaydanecounty.org.

Revised Aug. 5, 2016: Bradley Clerkin is at BreakFree Solutions, not Slalom Consulting. Renee Moe stated that United Way would "address" the community's needs, not "achieve".

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