When Norwich City FC achieved promotion last month, they became the most isolated Premier League club in the country, with a distance of 45 miles between them and their nearest neighbours, Ipswich Town. This combination of a successful football club, 5 years out of the last nine in the top league, and a large catchment area ensured that their Community Sports Foundation has become one of the biggest in the country. While much of their growth over this period has resulted in the charity developing and expanding their health improvement, community safety and education programmes, the Norwich City Community Sports Foundation (NCCSF) also delivers a large football participation programme which stretches across the county.
This includes Holiday Soccer Schools, Birthday Parties, Sporty Tots, Match Nights, Mini Kickers and Soccer Skills Centres. In order to manage the thousands of transactions between parents wanting to book their children on one of these programmes, NCCSF began using the Participant online booking system in 2016. Over the last three years the Participant system not only enhanced the booking experience for parents, it also dramatically reduced the administrative burden for the staff who were responsible for making sure the courses ran smoothly.
However, like many of the other football club charities, they wanted to collect and analyse the information on participants alongside their health improvement, community safety and education programmes which sat on the Views Platform, so they could report the collective impact that all of their work was having. To do this would have meant double entering the data from one system to the other which would have resulted in the loss of hundreds of staff hours over the year.
So, during 2018 the technology staff from both organisations worked together to ensure that any young person being registered for a course or event on the Participant system, paid for or free, would automatically be registered on Views. Less than one year in and the impact of this integration has been astonishing.
Amber Coe, Customer Engagement Manager at the Norwich Community Sports Foundation said:
“Before the Participant and Views software was integrated, our staff and coaches needed to manually input all the data into Views which was incredibly labour intensive; we are so glad that this is now a thing of the past. It was something which was very much welcomed by everyone here at Norwich City Community Sports Foundation.
Integrating these two software products should be the natural next step for all Community Foundations and Trusts and something they would hugely benefit from. Not only will they see a significant reduction in administration time and costs, it will also mean that all the required participation data will be automatically populated in Views so no more missed deadlines or human error.”
The integration of Views with the Participant bookings system is just one of the recent data consolidation projects undertaken by Substance and its partners. These include the Dashboard Coach Management System which also creates and manages time sheets and is increasingly being used by organisations in the Sport for Development sector.