Typical information systems

Information systems in an organisation tend to develop independently from one another and are often a mix of manual (paper-based) systems and electronic (computer-based) systems. Using both these features together will reduce the ease with which information can be retrieved and limit the usefulness of the information that is retrieved.

Community sector organisations typically have the following information systems:

  • Client data: Information collected on each individual client on intake and then during the period of service use that provides statistics about numbers of service users, demographic data on service users, type of service sought, type and duration of service provided, referrals, et cetera. Typically, this information is collected manually on hard-copy forms, and then may be transferred to an electronic database (sometimes using a prescribed database provided by a funding body). Often data about service provision (duration and outcomes of service) is collected on a separate system (e.g. case files) from intake data.
  • Service data: Information collected about service provision, such as sessions of direct service (e.g. phone calls received, counselling hours provided, group activities run, meals provided, cash assistance given). Data about the quality of service provided, such as client feedback, complaints and critical incidents is usually kept in separate hard-copy systems.
  • Staff data: This often consists of several different systems collecting information about employment history and work performance (personnel records), staff development and training, hours worked and how time is used (time sheets), and occupational health and safety incidents.
  • Finances: The financial accounts are usually a self-contained system using an electronic accounting package. Often these are managed by a bookkeeper, and the manager or coordinator uses a separate spreadsheet system to maintain budgeting and forecasting information.
  • Decisions and plans: Most of the decisions that guide the activities of the organisations are generated in meetings and/or planning sessions. The records of decisions made are usually kept in minutes of meetings or in documented plans.
  • Operational and other activity information: The type of information kept on general activity within an organisation varies, but most organisations keep records of correspondence, meetings with external agencies and other actions of staff (usually recorded in staff reports), and databases or listings of other agencies and contacts. However, often individual staff persons (or teams of staff) keep their own information system, with duplication occurring across the organisation.
  • Records, resources and files: These are the documents (electronic and hard copy) that an organisation stores usually in a series of hard-copy filing cabinets for paper files and a computer filing system for electronic files. Often these do not match, with the categories used for filing in hard copy being different to the categories used for electronic filing.

The effectiveness of an information system is measured by:

  • how easy it is to find an item
  • what information can be retrieved and used in planning, decision-making and accountability reporting.

Separate, unrelated information systems limit the information that can be retrieved, particularly where information is kept in manual or hard-copy form rather than stored electronically.

Information technology in the form of electronic databases enables integration of information systems to bring related sets of information together so that more - complete information can be retrieved.

Integrating information systems, and moving to electronic systems, can also reduce duplication of effort and reduce staff time taken to enter and retrieve information.

Moved by the need to create change, the Brisbane tech and business community are hosting a Homelessness Hackathon. A weekend-long hackathon with the tech, social, design and business communities aimed at solving issues identified by people experiencing homelessness. Whether you work in the housing/...
Find out if your organisation is destined to thrive, succeed and compete in the global marketplace. Better understand how digitally prepared your organisation is by taking the Queensland Government’s free, confidential online assessment and receive a Digital Scorecard . You will also: gain tips on...
decorative
We have launched a brand new course on the Community Door eTraining website which provides an introduction to the social service sector in Queensland for managers and organisations new to the sector. It is free for anyone to access. It features a profile of the sector in Queensland, insights into...
decorative
We’re living in a digital age but many Australians are being left behind and don’t have the skills to make the most of being connected. 1 in 5 Australian adults are not online * - that's almost 4 million people. To help change this, Infoxchange and Australia Post have joined together to create Go...
decorative
Queensland Government Media Release Homelessness in Logan goes mobile with Dignity First Logan people experiencing homelessness will be better connected to family, friends and support services with YFS today named as a recipient of the Palaszczuk Government’s Dignity First Fund. Minister for...
ACCAN and Infoxchange have come together to produce a report focusing on the more than 427,000 dwellings (about 5 per cent of housing stock) in Australia which fall into the category of social housing – housing provided by the government and community sectors to accommodate people in the lowest...
Infoxchange, creator of the Ask Izzy app made this great announcement today... Mobile phone credit is no longer standing in the way of people who are homeless with a Telstra phone trying to find help. Australia’s largest telecommunications company is now providing free access to Ask Izzy , the...
CAT Online (Cultural Awareness Training Online) is a powerful digital platform for learning about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture. It was established in 2015 by four passionate individuals with a vision for curtailing the expression of racism through cultural intelligence training...
Intensive Family Support (IFS) services help vulnerable families who have multiple or complex needs. The services work with families to build their capacity to safely care for and protect their children. The Queensland Government funds a number of organisations to provide IFS in locations across...
A major report into telecommunications affordability launched jointly by the Australian Communications Consumer Action Network (ACCAN) and the South Australian Council of Social Service (SACOSS) was launched yesterday. The report highlights concerns about low-income consumers in staying connected...

Pages

Are you looking for support in Queensland, or trying to find a service that meets your needs? Now you can search oneplace , the service directory hosted by the Queensland Family and Child Commission. oneplace is an easily accessible directory of community services to help Queensland families to get...
We’re living in a digital age but many Australians are being left behind and don’t have the skills to make the most of being connected. 1 in 5 Australian adults are not online * - that's almost 4 million people. To help change this, Infoxchange and Australia Post have joined together to create Go...
QCOSS has held a number of energy literacy webinars. You can watch a recording of the webinars or download a copy of the presentations. Energy literacy webinar Everything you need to know about energy bills including how to read a bill, what the charges are, what support is available and what to do...
The Community Resource Handbooks were launched by Volunteering Queensland on 12 May 2015. They consolidate the knowledge gained through Volunteering Queensland's community leadership work with more than 2,000 community groups over the past fifteen years. The handbooks are aimed at small to medium...
Carers Queensland, in collaboration with Queensland Aged and Disability Advocacy (QADA), the Public Trustee, the Office of the Public Guardian and Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal (QCAT), has launched a series of five new videos to help people better understand advocacy and legal...
Information technology and online solutions can help your community organisation work better. ACOSS, Infoxchange and the Department of Communications have teamed up to bring you Digital Business Kits which give you the tools and information to do more online. Digital Business Kits are hosted on...
Based on more than 20 years of experience and 25,000+ hours spent utilising mobile and social media, Mobile for Good: A How-To Fundraising Guide for Nonprofits is a comprehensive 256-page book packed with more than 500 best practices. Written on the premise that all communications and fundraising...
Authored by: Craig Ford, Polymorphic Solutions Your community organisation might have run on spreadsheets, shared folders and Access databases until one day, when you realised the systems don’t talk to each other and your organisation can’t grow without a single integrated system. Then it is time...
Author: 
Dietmar Frick, QCOSS

Scamwatch is increasingly warning Australian small businesses and not for profits to beware of an invoice email scam.

The scam...

Author: 
Shelley Dunlop, QCOSS

You have by now no doubt heard of the incredible success of the new game, Pokémon Go. And even if you haven't, you have probably noticed a marked increase in people roaming around parks, shopping centres and other public areas, intent on their smartphones.

The new mobile app allows users...

Male Afghan refugee smiling
Author: 
Dean Holland, Take Better Photos

Photos change hearts. They say what words and numbers can’t. A single good photo can bring your funders and stakeholders to the best moments of your project, and change their viewpoint forever.

But good photography can be hard to find. So we’ve started a...

Decorative image
Author: 
Richard Fahy, Lutheran Community Care

Information, knowledge and process management focusses on capturing meaningful and relevant data to assist evidencing multiple areas of an organisation. A few key areas may include:

  1. The organisation is on track and demonstrating it is achieving its strategic goals
  2. The
  3. ...
""
Author: 
Darren Smith, Breaking New Ground

A new chapter in the story of the not-for-profit sector is being drafted. How do small to medium organisations ensure they're written into the script?

The not-for-profit sector has already experienced significant change and uncertainty over the last few years:

  • funding
  • ...
Author: 
Kylie Hogan, National Disability Services

The Community Services Industry is facing a myriad of reforms and challenges now and into the future. 

Challenges such as an ageing population, workforce shortages, sector-wide reforms, technological advances and economic uncertainty are making it more important than ever for...

Computer
Author: 
Craig Ford, Polymorphic Solutions

Your community organisation might have run on spreadsheets, shared folders and Access databases until one day, when you realised the systems don’t talk to each other and your organisation can’t grow without a single integrated system. Then it is time to consider a CRM (Client Relationship...

See videos from StudioQ related to this topic

Share or Print