Hemenway & Barnes and Insightful Dashboards | akoyaGO User Story

Ensuring efficiency for community and private foundations alike prompts the need for an all-encompassing, intuitive foundation software. akoyaGO emerges as more than just a software provider in this landscape; it positions itself as a dedicated ally in enhancing the operational capabilities and impact of foundations. This narrative unfolds through the experiences of Rita Goldberg, Senior Grants Manager in the Philanthropic Advisory Practice at Hemenway & Barnes LLP, who shares her journey with akoyaGO’s innovative, customizable dashboards. Her story is one of transformation – from confronting initial limitations to leveraging technology for significant gains in grant management efficiency and effectiveness.

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Initial Challenges and Needs

When Rita came to Hemenway & Barnes in 2017, the Firm was using the akoyaGO legacy product that lacked dashboards thereby necessitating exporting data to Excel for manipulation. This process was time-consuming for creating customized client reporting, tracking, and data analysis. Recognizing the opportunity to improve their efficiencies, while the practice continued to grow, Rita and her team transitioned to the current akoyaGO solution in late 2020, drawn by its promise of seamless integration and enhanced data visualization, as well as a secure, cloud-based platform.

Integration and Adoption Process

Adopting the new generation of akoyaGO, Rita found the customization of dashboards within her existing workflow remarkably helpful. Starting with the out-of-the-box views, she personalizes these by adding columns or filters, such as client trusts, turning frequently used views into dedicated dashboards. These dashboards have become her daily monitoring tools, providing a comprehensive overview at a glance, and allowing her to serve the bespoke needs of different constituents.

Rita’s team benefits from a customization process that tailors views to each member’s role and needs. The akoyaGO solution supports this collaboration, making it easy to handle requests, access reports, add proposal notes, and use timelines within records. Rita appreciates how simple it is to set up these customized views on various dashboards, enhancing the foundation’s grantmaking tasks. This is especially true with the connectivity of GOapply, akoyaGO’s grantmaking portal, which streamlines their processes even further. 

Current Usage of Dashboards

Rita shares that she heavily relies on two different dashboards. One dashboard, coined as “Quality Control,” features activity highlights such as new organizations created within a certain time parameter, active GOapply applications, and organizations that operate outside of the geographic catchment area, with associated Tax IDs. She can easily view changes made in the database, which provides transparency and confidence in delivery accuracy. The second dashboard is dedicated to the frequent changes coming from GOapply, such as tracking new applications as well as new GOapply users, pending third-party responses, drafting applications, and flagging submissions with errors through consistent keywords she has identified. This approach keeps her informed and focused on managing the workflow.

Rita’s use of dashboards for tracking, reporting, and data analysis is pivotal to her daily operations. From ensuring quality control to monitoring GOapply activity, dashboards serve as a resource for her to gauge the health and status of the database for each of the foundations they manage. She credits the dashboards for their role in maintaining data integrity, noting their importance in spotting and rectifying discrepancies.

“The dashboards are landing pages for me to take a pulse of the database. I know our database and can tell when something has changed because of dashboards.”

Impact and Benefits

The introduction of akoyaGO’s dashboards has advanced Hemenway & Barnes’s operational efficiency, transparency, and decision-making capabilities – allowing the team to receive a significantly larger volume of grants and scholarships. Having a unified, transparent view of data is invaluable, and the resulting efficiency gains are remarkable. Rita reports that from 2022 to 2023, her department’s volume of grants and scholarships grew by 35%. The number of clients served and the increase in grant applications processed through GOapply grew by 20% in one year. 

“That’s why dashboards are important. Our practice is growing, and this tool allows for compliant, efficient grants management in service to our clients. Increased efficiency allows me to focus on higher-level systems design and improvements and not chasing down data needed to complete the grants process.”

Rita’s story exemplifies the transformative power of akoyaGO’s dashboards, highlighting how they enable her to manage a growing volume of business efficiently. By leveraging these tools, Rita and her team have not only streamlined their operations but have also enhanced their grantmaking and reporting capabilities, ensuring they can focus on their core mission of supporting their client’s philanthropic goals and vision.



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