Cerebral Palsy Alliance: Improved operations with Tableau and AWS

Non-profit, Cerebral Palsy Alliance (CPA), works to improve the quality of life for 34,000 Australians living with cerebral palsy. The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS)—a program under the National Disability Insurance Agency—is changing how non-profits get government funding in Australia. In adapting to these changes, CPA wanted data, not intuition, to guide their efforts.

With Tableau and Amazon Web Services, Cerebral Palsy Alliance (CPA) spends fewer resources on operations and more on serving clients.

CPA stores data from six different sources in a Microsoft SQL Server database, hosted on Amazon Relational Database Services (Amazon RDS). The team then uses Tableau data extracts to create reports.

Today, analysts from the marketing and service planning departments easily create and share workbooks, leading to more efficient, data-driven decisions.

Tableau: How does saving time and money help your organization?
Amir Hosseini, BI Consultant: As a nonprofit, saving money and time means putting money back to services and to clients, which is the whole goal.

Tableau: Why is it important for you to track your non-profit’s program data?
Amir: The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) [new initiative that provides support to people with disabilities] has already started in Australia and will roll out completely by year 2019. It changed the whole sector in Australia. There is no more bulk funding from the government, and you have to attend to clients and deliver services. After you’ve delivered a service, then you can claim for that particular service. Because NDIS is coming, we have to change our business model. So to change our business model, we really need to know the status [of our business].

As a non-profit, saving money and time means putting money back to services and to clients, which is the whole goal.

Tableau: What does your data analytics process look like?
Amir: We get data from different sources—six internal sources and some external sources. We put it into a dimensional structure, and then that data goes to Tableau.

We have two databases or data stages, and both are hosted on Amazon Web Services. One is just a relational data source, which is like a repository of our sources just going to a single data source. Then, from there, we create the dimensional model on Amazon RDS. And then it goes to Tableau data extracts and to Tableau reports.

So that design part and the whole journey for us was lots of redesigning and changing. So we were far ahead from our deadlines. It was much faster for the business to see the report.

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