The Duke of Edinburgh's (DofE) Award has enlisted the services of business analytics software and services provider SAS to provide enhanced reporting capabilities for eDofE, its online database.
The charity said SAS allows it to deliver new levels of management information to more people more quickly, and the ability to generate nationwide reports on its members.
"Until now, all the statistical information we used was gathered manually," said Janet Dutton, project manager at The Duke of Edinburgh's Award.
"Every year, we would ask local authorities to fill out information on the young people taking the award into an Excel spreadsheet, and then we'd consolidate it. This meant there was a lot of number-crunching and quality-checking, so if the financial year ran until 31 March, it could be June or July before we were able to produce statistics for the previous year."
She added that the organisation now has better visibility of participation numbers and flow of young people's progression through their DofE programmes, and detail on their backgrounds.
"We spent time in the selection process looking at other organisations and their product offerings. SAS offered good support, which is important to us. Locality was critical as well. We wanted a business that was close to our offices for better support, and SAS satisfied that criteria too," said Dutton.
Six Duke of Edinburgh's Award employees undertook tailored SAS Business Analytics training, which is designed to educate users on how to make the best use of the reporting software.
Pilots are currently being trialled with Midland and East regions, and the system will be rolled out nationally.