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Data Clinic and Wellfare develop and launch innovative open-source app


The Data Gather app on an iPhone

For the past year, Wellfare has been working hand-in-hand with Data Clinic, the social impact arm of Two Sigma, on the development of an innovative new open-source data collection tool called Data Gather. The flexible application will help us streamline member check-in, product feedback collection and new sign-ups at our monthly box distributions in the communities we serve.

 

Core to Wellfare and our Better Box program is a commitment to customer experience. This starts with framing our program as a free subscription where qualifying, low-income families sign-up. We build a thorough data profile for each household, recording who's in the house, the health concerns, grocery spend and food needs. A subscription creates reliability for each household (they're guaranteed a box at each distribution and don't need to line up, first-come, first-served like most food pantries) and begins to forge a relationship and brand affinity with a customer often times overlooked (most pantries don't know who's coming in and aren't able to track product feedback or actual impact, a mostly anonymous experience for families).

 

This commitment extends to the monthly box distribution as well, where our volunteers check-in families for box pickup, log feedback from the previous month's box and record any additional information that can help us better serve their needs and develop new products and services in the future. This is where Data Clinic stepped in to modernize our workflow.

 

The Data Gather app replaces clipboards and pens, streamlining the check-in process, improving data consistency and allowing us to serve more families in a shorter amount of time. Our volunteers are able to quickly access Data Gather from their smartphones and there's practically no learning curve as the application is designed to be sleek and efficient. Volunteers checking in families can easily lookup a household by name, phone or address, make edits to that profile, ask new and ongoing feedback questions, and log open text feedback. We've also folded in our new-signup form into Data Gather, in the event someone isn't already enrolled in the program.


Our volunteer leader Jamie trialing Data Gather at our Brooklyn outpost
Our volunteer leader Jamie trialing Data Gather at our Brooklyn outpost

Simply put, the collaboration with Data Clinic has been incredible for our organization, our program and our workflow.

 

“It was such a pleasure to partner with Wellfare this past year. At Two Sigma Data Clinic, it’s our goal to help social impact organizations better achieve their missions with the assistance of data and technology. Through our partnership, we were able to develop Data Gather, an open source data collection tool, which will help Wellfare scale through optimized operations and more robust data management. In addition, Wellfare provided us with nuanced insights into the challenges nonprofits face, allowing us to build Data Gather in a way that can be useful to a wide range of organizations. Our team is thrilled to have contributed to Wellfare’s mission of fighting food insecurity, and we’re excited to let nonprofits of all sectors benefit from the fruits of this collaboration through Data Gather’s public launch.” - Erin Stein, Head of Operations at Two Sigma Data Clinic

 

Data Gather is offered free and open-source, so any nonprofit across the country can implement the data collection tool into their workflow to better understand who they serve and to better track feedback. You can find Data Gather here and the source code on Github here.

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