Call for HMIS User Testers for Core Report Rollout


6/18/18 Update for User Testers:

Here’s a link to provide input on the testing that you’ve done for the Core Report. Please submit by end of day, Friday, June 22nd.

Original Post:

HMIS users: Do you take pride in your data quality? Do you nerd out when you compile quarterly reports? Have you noticed, and delighted in, the report improvements you’ve seen in HMIS over the last year?  Do you have great ideas about how we could make reports even better?

If this is you, read on!


We’re looking for a group of volunteer HMIS users to test our new Core Report, which will roll out for Minnesota-wide use this summer. (If you need to read no further to opt in, register here.)


Here at ICA, we want to ensure the reports we produce are useful, readable, and meet the needs of our users, CoCs, and state programs alike.

What do you mean by “core”?

Our reporting team recently developed a “Core Report”. Think of it as the center of the Venn diagram of all the data that our CoC-funded and state homeless programs have in common.

Last summer, we engaged CoC and state homeless program partners in envisioning a core report across all projects that would serve as a replacement for the numerous, duplicative reports currently in use. This report would not replace all currently required reports, but encompass what each program had in common (with the eventual goal of building supplemental reports for each program).

This winter, we built and released an alpha version of this report. Before we release the report to the whole user base, we need folks to check our work!

Ok, I’m interested. What’s Involved?

If you elect to participate, we’ll ask for about 2 hours of your time. Participate in a kickoff webinar, run, review, and mark up the report for your programs, and send your feedback to us.

Mayyybe I’m interested. What’s In It For Me?

You know how there are 4-10 reports for each state homeless program (counting, data check, income, exit, entry, brown shoes, red scarves, etc.)? Each one is a little different, and if you have multiple programs, you know there are many similarities; except there are small, sometimes maddening, variations in how they count.

What if there were only two? One for all the data in common across programs, and one program-specific supplemental report for everything else? And what if those reports matched the specifications with your APR? Imagine!

Well, that’s our goal; and we’re on our way. A critical step to ensure the core report meets the needs of our user base, across all program types, is to hear from our users.

So what’s in it for you? 1. The satisfaction of knowing you’ll make our HMIS data world a stronger, more efficient place.  2. Less future reports to run!

What’s the time commitment?

Here’s the timeframe:

  • We’re recruiting users between now and the end of May.
  • The week of June 4th, we’ll hold a short webinar to introduce the report, the project goals, and the feedback we’re looking to obtain.
  • You then have until Friday, June 15th to explore the report and run it for your datasets, ask questions, and submit feedback via a simple survey form. That’s it!

Then What Happens?

We’ll compile and consider all feedback we receive. Then, we’ll make a mad dash to incorporate the changes that are possible for the beta release in July. Alongside this, we’re developing a report definition guide so you know precisely what the report displays, and how.

I’m in! What Next?

If interested, register here asap (deadline: May 25th, 2018). The week of May 29th, we’ll send a poll to interested users for the best time to host a webinar the week of June 4th.