Data and Reporting
Bed-Nights Happen At Midnight
From time to time, people ask me about how a report handles bed-nights. Unless otherwise specified, a bed-night is counted if a client is booked in at exactly midnight.
That means that there is no minimum stay length. If a client books in at 11:59pm and then books out at 12:01am (2 minutes later), that counts as a bed-night.
That means that if someone books in at 1am and stays the entire rest of the night, that does not count as a bed-night.
That means if someone is there at check-in and slee…
Homelessness Data Self-Assessment
My Initial Thoughts on the Ontario HPP Program
As of April 1, 2022, Ontario communities now have new funding requirements through the HPP program. There's a lot to take in here, so many communities are rightly concerned about what this means for them. In particular, those using HIFIS are wondering how they should start recording data so that they can pull it out at the end of the year.
I'm afraid that I don't have all the answers yet, but since so many people are thinking about this right now, I thought it would be good to start a discussio…
Why you need TWO reports for Coordinated Access
But sometimes they also …
Data Dive: Average Length of Stay for Families
Occasionally, I get asked by someone what is the average length of stay for families (as opposed to singles) in their shelter system. On the surface, this is an innocent question! I would like to know this. Wouldn't you like to know? If families are staying longer than singles, then maybe we can arrange some policies or programs that specifically target families more efficiently.
But it's actually really hard to calculate the average length of stay for a family. Not because the math is hard, bu…
Let's talk about Chronic Homelessness
Let me ask a question: how do you calculate chronic homelessness? We know that the federal definition is 6 months in the past year or 18 months in the past 3 years, but we have to deal with a lack of information - there's lots of holes in our data. So how do we address these gaps? Let's go through a few scenarios and discuss.
Our client, Aladdin, stays in our shelter every night for six months. He books in January 1st and then books out June 30. That's 181 days, so we can calculate …
Understanding Data Volume in Reports
At ACRE Consulting, one of the things we do a lot of is writing reports. We see a lot of different request for reports which vary in complexity from extremely simple to crazily complex. The resulting reports end up varying wildly in measures like efficiency and run-time. Some will run quickly, while others might take ages to compile (fill with data) and might even time-out (give up before completion).
We'd like to walk you through what's going on in the background of a report so you can have a …
Family Stays in HIFIS 4
It's almost universally agreed that family stays in HIFIS 4 are a little problematic, especially if you compare family stays in HIFIS 4 to HIFIS 3.
There are three challenges are for day-to-day use when it comes to front line staff at family shelters, and then even bigger problems that are hiding behind the curtain when you're trying to pull data out of the database.
First, all of the occupancy in HIFIS 4 is bed-based as opposed to room-based. Let's imagine we have a family shelter …
Converting Data to HIFIS 4: What You Should Know
Most communities considering using HIFIS 4 are not starting from scratch. The truth is, in a pre-HIFIS 4 world, communities did something to get data for reporting, and in a lot of cases, they don't want to lose all of that prior data.
This situation leads many communities to consider what to do with their previous data, when they switch to HIFIS 4. If you're having these conversations, you're not alone! There are lots of other communities struggling with the same question.
What are the Opti…
New HIFIS 4 Feature: Report Categories
One of the privacy issues in HIFIS 4 has been reporting. You could set up your user rights templates to be as limited as you wanted, but when it came to reports, it was all or nothing.
If you gave a user permission to run reports, they could run all reports, and the reports could be designed to pull data from anywhere. So reports acted as a bit of a loophole. Maybe I want to share some case management information but not other information, so I'll make a report, and now even users that don't ha…