Users give thumbs up to Outcomes Engine

Posted on 05 Feb 2024

Outcomes image
SmartyGrants Outcomes Engine continues to be adopted by funders.

Early adopters of the SmartyGrants Outcomes Engine have given an emphatic thumbs up to their early experiences with the tool.

The overwhelming majority of respondents to a mid-January user survey rated the onboarding experience as either ‘excellent’ or ‘very good’ (89%) with the remainder rating it as ‘ok’.

Users appreciated the support provided by the Outcomes Engine onboarding team.

"The onboarding process for SRLA has been great, with support to refine our [outcome] framework to be more usable,” a respondent from Victoria's Suburban Rail Local Authority (SRLA) program said.

“Process is great … support is amazing,” said another respondent.

Sixty-six SmartyGrants users have switched on the Outcomes Engine since it was launched in September 2022. The tool, which was designed in consultation with funders, grantees and evaluation specialists, is designed to help grantmakers track and report on the impact of their grants.

The survey of 60 Outcomes Engine users achieved a 13% response rate.

The survey results highlighted the effectiveness of the Outcomes Engine Help Hub. All respondents who had accessed the Help Hub rated its content as 'Excellent' or 'Very Good.'

“The OE content is excellent," one survey participant noted.

Jen Riley
Jen Riley

Usability rates highly

“This positive response reflects the platform's intuitive design and user-friendly interface, given the relatively short time since its launch,” said SmartyGrants' Chief Impact Officer Jen Riley.

“Users acknowledged a learning curve for the Outcome Engine, and plans are underway to provide additional resources in 2024 to provide more support to grant managers to assist their grantees.”

A total of 89% of survey respondents expressed their willingness to recommend the SmartyGrants Outcomes Engine to other users, indicating early signs of user satisfaction and confidence in the tool.

Online community of practice

Survey participants were invited to provide feedback on the monthly online Outcomes Engine Community of Practice online meetup. Users said they valued presentations by Outcomes Engine users on captured data, as well as information on refinements and lessons learned, expressing a desire for more of these sessions.

Suggestions included checking for future discussion topics at the end of each session, provision of advanced notice for the next meeting, and consideration of session length.

“All valuable suggestions will be incorporated into the 2024 sessions, ensuring a more tailored and engaging experience,” Jen said.

More reporting support coming in 2024

System users requested additional training and support on data extraction and strategies for presenting outcomes end-dates in meaningful ways. Several respondents sought more Outcomes Engine case studies and data.

“We are moving into the next phase of the Outcomes Engine this year, and it's great to start with this feedback,” Jen said.

“We've heard that the onboarding process and online help content are sound, but now our users want more real-life examples of how people are using the Outcomes Engine to improve their grantmaking. This is exciting and something I am looking forward to addressing with the team.”

Looking ahead: continuous improvement

Buoyed by the promising early feedback, Jen said SmartyGrants remained committed to continuous improvement. Insights gathered from the survey, including constructive feedback on the Community of Practice and reporting, would play a pivotal role in shaping future developments of the Outcomes Engine.

“Users can anticipate an even more refined and feature-rich experience in upcoming releases, as SmartyGrants actively incorporates user suggestions and feedback,” Jen said.

For further details about the Outcomes Engine, including a free demo, email [email protected].

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