Institute for Community Alliances (ICA) acts as the Homeless Management Information System (HMIS) administrator in 14 states. The nonprofit provides technical assistance and training support to more than 4,000 database users. Nearly seven years ago, Senior Analyst Ehren began looking for a way to make the data collection process easier for the nonprofit partners they work alongside. After testing out 10-12 different data collection tools, ICA chose Formstack Forms.
Ehren went with Formstack because it provided comprehensive form logic, robust workflows, and a high level of security, all within an easy-to-use interface. When Formstack began offering its Documents and Sign products, Ehren was excited to check out the new Platform offering. He was immediately sold after watching a demo, and he quickly began implementing new workflows using Forms, Documents, and Sign together.
Now, departments across ICA are lining up to get Ehren's assistance with their most frustrating data collection issues. He believes the uses for Formstack are limitless, from board member packets and conflict of interest documents to training quizzes and documentation for annual audits. As someone driven to make processes and systems better, Ehren loves using Formstack to spin up genius new ways to securely collect, store, and share data.
Our data quality is phenomenal, which is, I think, in no small part attributable to the use of Formstack.
I'm Ehren Stover-Wright, the Senior Analyst with the Institute for Community Alliances.
What were the challenges before using Formstack?
The point in time study is the one time of year where we get a thorough count of everybody who's homeless. If you know anything about working with federal agencies, the forms that they provided us with which to do this, which covered all of the data points that we had to capture, they were onerous, they were confusing, they were long. They were burdensome.
At the time, we got trial copies of like 10 or 12 different products. And we tried to build the form in all of them. And the only one that really worked the way we wanted it to, the way we envisioned it was Formstack.
We originally expanded into the sign world because we needed training documents signed and the agreement for the user to enter the data standards correctly and to be confidential.
How did your success with Formstack lead to growth?
As we were demonstrating success, now we've got several managers and we've got a grants manager, who's now interested in trying to figure out what we can do with Formstack Sign and Formstack documents because they've got all kinds of uses, and they're always interested in finding the right solution.
How do you use Forms, Documents, and Sign together?
When I found out the Formstack was expanding into the world of documents and sign, I was really excited. And I was using a competing product at the time. But when the opportunity arose for me to change products, I was not surprised to discover that it was more intuitive and the workflows were better than the workflows I was finding in any competing product.
So that ability for me to take a form and have it interact with the document to create a assignable PDF at the end of the day, or the check box is exactly where it needs to be, the signature field is exactly where it needs to be. All of the data is coming in and combining in the right way, complete with a verifiable audit trail that I can show to the auditors is exactly the product that I need.
What does the future look like with the Formstack Platform?
I'm certain that we're going to start using it in more and more interesting ways. I need to develop some tools in Formstack in sign and ultimately in the documents as well so that we can keep track of board documents. We're also working on a way that we can start using it to handle our memorandum of understanding with agencies with whom we partner.
Why do you recommend Formstack?
Formstack is my go-to solution any time I need to do anything that falls outside of the purview of government mandated things. Just because I know I can stick it in the LMS, I can stick it in the CRM. I can stick it in a public facing website.
I can use Formstack to gather data from anybody. The way you gather data is so much more intuitive than anybody else on the market, which is why we've been with Formstack now for years because we've never found a problem that we couldn't solve with it.