Microsoft Showcases OrangeBoy’s Success with Customer Engagement and Power BI

Last week OrangeBoy was featured alongside companies such as Pepsi-Cola, Goodwill, GE and Sony when Microsoft released a customer success story showcasing Savannah ®. The article discusses the evolution of Savannah and its utilization of Microsoft Power BI Embedded to improve reporting, analytics, and visualization capabilities. 

In 2017, OrangeBoy deployed Microsoft Power BI Embedded to add advanced, but familiar and easy-to-use reporting and data visualization features to Savannah. The OrangeBoy development team was able to connect Power BI Embedded to its existing Azure SQL Database, eliminating the need to spend time, effort, and resources on building and maintaining its own visualization engine.  

Click here to read the article in its entirety and learn how Savannah community member, Oak Park Library has become a power user of Power BI Embedded.

Manageable and Measurable

How a Small Library System Developed a Focused Plan and Used Data to Make the Case for Expansion

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Queen Anne’s County Library (QACL) completed their three-year strategic plan in early 2017. Their goal was to build a data-driven strategic plan, with a built-in mechanism to measure their success along the way.  Working with OrangeBoy, the library achieved both by using the company’s planning consulting services, accompanied by Savannah®, OrangeBoy’s cloud-based intelligent library management suite.  

John Walden, library director, had a vision for their new plan and hired OrangeBoy to facilitate a data rich and measurable plan.  “I was reading a lot about it, and in the literature there was a lot of focus on outcomes. That changed my focus, and I brought that to the board and said, I think this is important for us to look at, moving in a different direction with the plan.”

As the strategic planning process neared the final stages, the board was tempted to start adding broad ideas back into the draft, which resembled previous plans.  Walden took what might have been the unpopular stance to stay focused. “We had all these objectives, which sounded great on paper… but again, without any measurement of it, how do you know it’s successful?”  He added, “I wanted a plan that was not going to sit on the shelf after we did it.”

That’s why I wanted to work with [OrangeBoy]. I felt that we did a lot in the last plan under the different objectives, but it was difficult to measure. When I started working with OrangeBoy, I realized there were ways for us to measure success using the dashboard on Savannah. 
— John Walden, Library Director

Measurement has become very important to the library. "At a board meeting, I can just pull up our dashboard on Savannah and show a real-time figure as to where we are with the areas we’re trying to measure,” stated Walden.

As the plan took shape, one of the measurements that stood out was Market Penetration, which is measure of the percentage of active households with at least one library user in relation to the total number of households in the service area.   

 The plan identifies a goal to increase market penetration across the county. The library is looking at expanding their Kent Island Branch, and potentially adding a new branch to help drive their market penetration up. These were ideas they had had before, but with access to the Savannah dashboard and visible representations of their data, they now had facts to back up their intuition.

The plan identifies a goal to increase market penetration across the county. The library is looking at expanding their Kent Island Branch, and potentially adding a new branch to help drive their market penetration up. These were ideas they had had before, but with access to the Savannah dashboard and visible representations of their data, they now had facts to back up their intuition.

Walden explains.  “With the Kent Island Branch, we could see 60 percent of our usage came from that branch. The Kent Island Branch wasn’t just for people on the island—people from all over the county use its services due to the commuter population. That reinforced it as a priority.”

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He added, “Also, when we looked at our market penetration, we knew the North County was not an area of the county where we had a lot of customers, and the data bore that out. The other three districts were 36-45 percent market penetration, but the North County was driving the overall numbers down with a penetration of 11-12 percent. It was obvious, after seeing that, we’re not reaching that area of the county.  Nearly 25 percent of the county population lives there, so it’s an under-served area.”     

Walden sums up his experience with the strategic planning process.  “I’m a big believer that you cannot plan too far ahead. Years ago there were five-year plans, but even a three-year plan is challenging just because there’s so much changing. You have to think about the goals and objectives that are attainable in the time frame you’re looking at.”     

On working with OrangeBoy, Walden concluded “I think you guys came along just at the right time for us, when I was looking for ways to really measure the impact of a plan.”

Christian County, Missouri: A Growing Community Casts their Vote in Favor of Libraries

 Christian County, Missouri: A Growing Community Casts their Vote in Favor of Libraries

The Christian County Library passed its levy with 68 percent of the vote in August 2017, which will nearly double its annual budget. More importantly, the levy allows the library to build three new facilities and renovate and expand another. That's a vastly different reality than Geri found on her arrival in 2013 as executive director.