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Island Council of Tenerife organizes community events using the Power Platform

In this blog post, we look at how the Insular Management for Sport, Culture, and Leisure (IDECO), a company of the Island Council of Tenerife, the governing body for the Canary Islands, is using Microsoft Power Platform for Ansina, their program of sociocultural dynamization and social intervention tailored towards the elderly. They now use PowerApps to organize hundreds of events for elderly people with the goal of promoting health and wellness within the community. IDECO worked with Intelequia, a Microsoft Gold partner, to leverage their existing Office 365 services into a PowerApps solution that includes multiple customized forms in SharePoint. This turned a disorganized process using several shared Word documents into an easy-to-use scheduling and activity-tracking solution.

The Ansina PowerApps solution was deployed in August 2018 and was used to plan 1000+ activities with 48K+ enrollments in the first twelve months. It also leverages Power BI to visualize activities and participant feedback, giving the local government office and the Ansina team members valuable insight into how activities are being experienced. The success of the solution for the Ansina program has catalyzed development for more enhancements, and creating PowerApps solutions for other IDECO programs.

 

Business scenario

The Ansina program coordinates activities for elderly people living in the Canary Islands. The 65-person Ansina team partners with entities like dance studios and art studios to deliver activities. The overall goal for the Ansina program is to enable elderly people to stay active in the community. To accomplish this goal, they need to organize and track the local entities where events are hosted, the coordinators facilitating activities, participants, costs, and feedback. This information is constantly in flux which makes organizing it all extremely challenging.

 

Before Microsoft Power Platform

Ansina managers and coordinators used to keep track of activities and schedules in a shared Word document. The coordinator notes and feedback pertaining to activities were hand written and stored in a filing cabinet. None of the day-to-day information was captured digitally, leaving Ansina’s team with piles of paper and no way to get simple information such as a breakdown of participation by gender. Managers had difficulty tracking coordinators’ activities and had no efficient way to schedule and staff future events. Ansina needed a solution that would track all activities, enable coordinators and managers to work from the same data, and provide valuable insights into the entities and activities.

Tables in a Word document were used to manage activities

 

Microsoft Power Platform solution

IDECO turned to Intelequia, a Microsoft Gold Partner, to leverage their existing O365 services and create a solution for managing activities. Intelequia had previously implemented IDECO’s SharePoint intranet, so they decided to create the solution as a PowerApps custom form embedded within SharePoint, which enabled them to leverage the power of SharePoint and PowerApps in one convenient solution. This was Intelequia’s first foray into PowerApps. It took them three months to ramp up, build and deploy the solution in production, a large portion of which was spent on gathering requirements and defining the data structure in collaboration with IDECO.

The 65-person Ansina team using the PowerApps solution consists mainly of two users – coordinators and managers. The coordinators are the field delivery team members that coordinate and facilitate the activities at the partnering entity locations. They use SharePoint Online lists with embedded PowerApps forms to:

  • View activity locations and times, which ultimately directs travel and responsibilities throughout the day.
  • Manage all participating venues – onboarding and offboarding venues such as a local yoga studio or event space.
  • Manage all activities – e.g. adding a yoga class with detailed information. The information for each activity is neatly organized into multiple tabs – general info, additional info, evaluation of the activity, and costs.

 

Customized PowerApps form embedded in SharePoint list

 

Detailed information about the various venues (e.g. dance studios) that hosts activities

 

Managers responsible for monitoring activities have visibility into coordinator whereabouts by simply viewing the integrated SharePoint calendar. Managers also frequently communicate with venues about scheduling future events. They use the PowerApp to organize and schedule new events while cross-referencing coordinators’ schedules, thus ensuring that newly created events can not only be staffed by available coordinators, but also that venues have required space for the activities.

 

SharePoint web parts used to display calendar and Power BI tiles

 

At activity sites, coordinators take notes manually, document data that the Ansina Program is tracking like participation numbers, gender, age, and feedback, and then bring the information (previously stored in a filing cabinet) to the managers, who input the data into the PowerApp. They also take pictures shared on social media and upload them into the app.

 

Coordinators upload their observations about an activity, including pictures and attendee demographics

 

Leveraging Power BI, Ansina visualizes the data to gain a variety of insights like activity-related expenses and participation statistics. This is extremely useful information for documenting the effectiveness of this government program.

 


Power BI report is embedded within SharePoint

 

Although the Ansina team at large was not particularly tech savvy at the outset of this project (they used mostly Microsoft Word), they were able to quickly adopt the PowerApps solution given its simplicity. Within the first twelve months of launching the solution in August 2018, Ansina logged 1009 activities at 207 venues, with a total of 48,418 participants.

A summary of the capabilities of the solution:

  • SharePoint: All the data is stored in SharePoint lists. A calendar in a SharePoint web part is used to visualize activities in a calendar format. Entity details along with description, location, etc. and Event details including dates and times of activities, participant information, organizer information, and costs like bus tickets, meals, or event fees are all tracked in the SharePoint lists. It also houses the embedded PowerApps solution.
  • PowerApps: used to implement custom forms embedded in SharePoint, which enable all data entry for activities and entities.
  • Power BI: used to visualize all the data and feedback, giving the Ansina team valuable insight into partner entity performance and customer experience.

Benefits from using the Microsoft Power platform

The managers and coordinators of the Ansina program at IDECO have benefited in several ways:

  • Visibility into rich data about activities that was simply not available earlier. This data is being used:
    • By the mayor’s office to get insights into how the money allocated to this program is being spent.
    • To help tailor marketing activities based on the knowledge of men vs women that attend events.
    • To decide the types of activities to offer, e.g. if there are too many dance classes, etc.
  • Provides managers with real-time visibility into coordinators activities and whereabouts.
  • Insights into entity performance makes evaluating these local organizations and activities much quicker.
  • Moving to digital reduces paper waste and time spent organizing paper files and folders.
  • Reduced data errors – everyone enters data in a consistent way with a standard set of choices. This has also reduced the need for meetings that were held to resolved disputes due to inconsistent data.
  • It leverages the strength of SharePoint and PowerApps in one solution. As an example, SharePoint list views are used to quickly create customized filtered views on the list of activities, while PowerApps provides rich visualization of maps and pictures as part of the form experience.
  • Was an approachable solution for a non tech-savvy audience that did not have much technical experience beyond Microsoft Word.

 

Looking ahead

With the success of their first PowerApp, Intelequia is continuing to expand the app capabilities for the Ansina program. They’re adding standalone PowerApps accessible via mobile devices. Additionally, they’re adding some more complex scheduling capabilities such as scheduling multiple, repeatable events for the same activity.
They’re also expanding to other larger and more complex programs within IDECO, such as “Territory Hey!” that, according to the IDECO website – “promotes the participation of the population in public activity, promoting the culture of Citizen Participation in society and favoring joint decision-making in the insular territory.”

 

Screenshot of the form that is in development for Territory Hey!

 

Solution architecture

 

Intelequia began their journey into the Office 365 world since it was called Microsoft Business Productivity Online Suite back in 2010, building solutions and services for companies of all sizes allowing them to accomplish their process towards digital transformation. They are known for delivering comprehensive solutions for collaborative work, through Microsoft Dynamics 365, Microsoft Office 365, and the Power platform.