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.

Now you can find out the indigenous history of your suburb using the Welcome to Country app. A free app (currently only available on Apple devices) has been created to educate people about the local history of Indigenous Australia and the traditional owners of the land. More than 500 nations...
Early intervention for a child with a developmental delay or disability is important in maximising benefit for the child and family. Providing quality intervention early in a child’s life reduces the possible need for longer term intervention and improves the functionality, inclusion and wellbeing...
In a perfect world, all of your fans would see all of your posts in the news feed. But this is not a perfect world, and your Facebook posts are rarely seen by the people who’ve liked your Page. It might seem unfair, but when you get right down to it, Facebook users are the ones telling the news...
Deaf Services Queensland has this week launched its new website which can be viewed at www.deafservicesqld.org.au . The purpose of the redesign is to ensure clear and simple access to information for the Deaf and hard of hearing community in Queensland. The site is focused on providing a visual and...
Australia’s 600,000 charities and not-for-profits, from international aid groups right down to the local tennis club, are about to get a major boost, as Justice Connect’s Not-for-profit Law service this week launches the acclaimed Information Hub for a national audience. The Hub is a free, online...
COTA (Council on the Ageing) Queensland is the Seniors Peak giving older Queenslanders a voice on issues that affect them. COTA QLD has just launched Radio COTA, a weekly podcast focused on topical and relevant information for older Queenslanders. Radio COTA is hosted by media veteran Andy Neil and...
The Service Providers Accessibility Guide has been designed by Media Access Australia to provide you with a practical, hands-on, step-by-step way to effectively prepare and deliver content and communications to people with disabilities via computing and mobile devices. The original version of this...
The Voicebox Project is an innovative program provided by PIR Gold Coast and Gold Coast Primary Health Network empowering a group of Gold Coast residents to share their stories and to help improve access to health and community services. The project consists of local Gold Coast people, with first...
Non-profits agencies in Australia can sign up for Google AdWords grants, to the value of around $330 per day. This is a great bonus of free marketing for your organisation, but once you've signed up for the grants program and been approved, how can you use it most effectively? VolunteerMatch, a...
The ABC has produced an interactive Fact File , based on the latest research in Australia, to reveal how the patterns of homelessness in Australia have changed over 15 years. Some 105,200 Australians are without a home. Indigenous Australians and single parents are over-represented in the numbers,...

Pages

Your search yielded no results

There may not be any content with your search criteria.

  • Check if your spelling is correct.
  • Remove quotes around phrases to search for each word individually. bike shed will often show more results than "bike shed".
  • Consider loosening your query with OR. bike OR shed will often show more results than bike shed.

See videos from StudioQ related to this topic

Share or Print