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CDM Solutions - Measurements

Updated: Dec 7, 2020


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00:00:16:02 - 00:00:55:05

Hey everybody, it's Dan Lammot from, excited to be back to talk with you about program delivery and results inside of the Common Data Model for Nonprofits and the Dynamics 365 Nonprofit Accelerator. As is always the case, you can get information about the CDM and accelerator from the Microsoft Docs page at the Dynamics 365 nonprofit accelerator. And we're going to look at one of the key documents is listed in the GitHub repo out here at Microsoft Dynamics 365 Nonprofit Accelerator, which is the nonprofit reference guide.

00:00:55:20 - 00:01:36:12

And within that guide you can find these entities relationship diagrams or how to guides. And the one we're going to look at here today is the how to model program delivery and results or log frames. And the piece I'm really going to focus on the most are the three entities on the right hand side, the measurement item, the measurement item usage, and the measurement item relationship. The measurement item is the core of this. And the key thing about the measurement item is that it could be a goal, an objective, a target, an outcome and output an indicator or any other language that your organization uses to identify these things that you measure outputs, outcomes, impacts and so on and so forth with.

00:01:37:09 - 00:02:15:13

And within that, it's got a library type which is listed as a standard, an internal or an external. You, of course, can change those values. But let me talk to you about the the meaning of each of those different values as it comes out of the box. A standard would be something like IRIS Plus or the Sustainable Development Goals, indicators and targets. The idea being that it's a standard that defines a specific set of either universally or broadly accepted values around measurement of which we all know there are many. An internal library type represents something that's just unique to your organization or specific programs within your organization.

00:02:15:23 - 00:02:48:06

This is really important. A lot of the research that led to this recognize that some of the external standards that are very broad and really important, perhaps from a donor perspective, aren't all that relevant when you talk to the project management and program staff that are actually designing and executing the work in the field. So that's why you see the standard and the internal models incorporated here. And then there's also a third one called external, because some organizations might use a standard from another organization because it's either really relevant to the work they do.

00:02:48:08 - 00:03:24:11

Perhaps there's even a partnership or it's not quite a broadly accepted standard, but it's not an internal standard either. A great example of this would be the International Rescue Committee's outcome to evidence framework, which they've published online for other organizations to be able to leverage as well. So within this, you get the ability to have all of these different types of measurement items, and you can also relate them together in three different unique ways through the measurement type. And within that, you can set things like units, percentages, nominals, ordinals and qualitative.

00:03:24:13 - 00:04:05:23

So you get that best practice data guidance, and that gives you the ability to actually determine whether they're aggregable or not. And you can get great data roll ups and so forth. And then the measurement item relationship sets up that key connectivity between different measurement items. You might have a rigid hierarchical structure. You might have a very flexible kind of many-to-many structure, or you might have a proportional relationship between different measurement items. And most importantly, and this is really the key point of this, is that the measurement item relationship allows you to have your staff be able to design and execute programs according to all of these different standards.

00:04:06:01 - 00:04:45:24

In parallel, you might need to have a specific program organized for a particular funder expressed in sustainable development goal measurement, while at the same time your team is actually operating in a much more specific internal standard. And the model that we've built here allows for you to do both of those in parallel, which I think is one of the best innovations. And then, of course, the last key entity is this measurement item usage, which sets up the relationship between the item and the relationship with do you want to think of kind of as a measurement library and the actual connectivity all the way across the delivery framework spectrum from objective all the way down to indicator.

00:04:46:14 - 00:05:25:12

So let's take a really quick look about how this looks inside the application. If you go to the Dynamics 365 Nonprofit Accelerator, you're going to be able to go into the delivery framework application. And if you navigate down to measurement items, you're going to see a whole host of different measurement items that are part of the sample data. You're going to see some that are listed as library type of standard, others that are internal and others that are external. And that then gives you the ability to drill to any of these like this access to health services and see the other related items that are in the application, you'll also notice the codes.

00:05:25:23 - 00:06:19:05

This is because Microsoft is connected through a data integration to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals API and incorporates the full gamut of the goals, targets and indicators from the Sustainable Development Goals as part of the Dynamics 365 Nonprofit Accelerator, which is a big time and effort savings on your part if you want to use that standard. One of the other things that comes with the accelerator is a template power app that you can either run in a browser like I'm running here or inside a Microsoft teams that gives you the ability to go through an easy four step process of entering basic project information and generating a log frame that is connected to those internal, external and standards based measurement items like the Sustainable Development Goals that I'm showing here on the screen.

00:06:19:23 - 00:06:40:23

So that's a quick overview of the measurement capabilities within the common data model for nonprofits and the Dynamics 365 Nonprofit Accelerator. If you want to dig deeper into the application and play around, you can go out to app source and pick up the app either through Get It Now or a free trial. Look for the Dynamics 365 nonprofit accelerator. Look forward to talking to you again soon. Thanks so much.

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