To accomplish its global humanitarian efforts, Direct Relief relies heavily on data, analysis, and reporting. Its use of information has grown exponentially as the organization’s role in the world has expanded.
About a year before selecting TimeXtender, Direct Relief began using QlikView. This data discovery tool enabled Direct Relief to improve its analysis and to report and show stakeholders the status of its humanitarian activities. While Qlik gave Direct Relief’s visibility into its data unlike ever before, the organization’s lack of a data warehouse and a comprehensive data model made data sourcing a challenge.
The data resided in several areas, including SAP data, donor and fundraising records, Excel spreadsheets, and various other sources. Specifically, Direct Relief relied on its numerous data sources to analyze, monitor, and report on:
People in need of medical supplies
Donations from pharmaceutical companies and medical companies
Product usage, who uses the products, market information and analytics on needs, usage, product preferences
What is in the warehouse and what is scheduled to arrive and when
The amount of donations that support its initiatives
Comparing and contrasting products used by time frame
“Once we installed Qlik, we were able to work with data in ways that weren’t possible before. However, a lot of the data was hard to access. We knew we needed a better way to organize and standardize our data. Then, we discovered TimeXtender.”
Dawn Long, Senior VP and COO at Direct Relief
TimeXtender, a Qlik technology partner, leverages the power of automation to build an end-to-end data warehouse and business intelligence solution that provides new levels of performance and agility in data sourcing. TimeXtender’s technology and approach helped Direct Relief organize and build a better data model that provides quality, validation and transparency.
For Direct Relief, the first step was data modeling: understanding the data sources and streamlining naming conventions. Next came the building of the hub itself and the collection of all common data. With data well organized, sourced, and maintained by TimeXtender, new data sources could be rapidly added.
“Direct Relief runs on data and the need to access it easily and quickly is essential,” said Dawn Long, Senior VP and COO at Direct Relief. “Given TimeXtender’s seamless integration with Qlik, staff members now have instant access to the organization’s data. They can quickly identify what supplies shipped, where they were delivered, and when they arrived. TimeXtender’s technology and approach helped us organize and build a better data model that provides quality, validation, and transparency.”
With TimeXtender, we were able to look at our data and immediately organize it all with common names that ensured all our systems were talking to each other. We built a model to bring together all our data sources, programs, products, and events. This allows us to run multiple applications on one platform and retrieve the information we need with one click,” said Long.
Long added that although the transition was complex, the project implementation was fast and efficient.“Now we can quickly and easily analyze data and report and share results with our stakeholders.“ Direct Relief recently reported on its efforts in Nepal, one year after an earthquake in 2015 devastated the country. It is now far easier to conduct data analysis and reporting than in the past,” said Long.