Rather than tracking and measuring transactions as a means of measuring success (Did we respond to 95 percent of our referrals within five days?), human services agencies instead gauge the impact of their services on their customers’ lives and futures. With customer analytics, agencies mine their enormous pools of data to better understand and predict client needs, vastly improving the services they provide. By focusing on the demand side of the equation, the business of human services is better aligned to its core mission of improving people’s lives.
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Washington State Department of Social and Health Service (DSHS) developed and maintains an integrated client data base (ICDB) of its 2.2 million clients. The department’s Research and Analysis Division (RDA) provides policy-driven analyses of government-funded social and health services with a focus on the outcomes of various programs.