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Empowering People with Disabilities Through Open Source Technology: Makers Making Change and Bandit Tour for Good 2020

Helping Makers Making Change Empower People with Disabilities Through Open Source Technology: Bandit Tour for Good 2020

Every year since 2013, the Bandit Tour for Good has hit the road in search of good deeds en route to Dreamforce. The tour typically starts in Vancouver and travels down the west coast, making several stops along the way to provide pro-bono Salesforce consulting for nonprofits as well as perform Bandit Acts of Kindness, before arriving in San Francisco. 

Since this year has been anything but ‘typical’, we’ve decided to rethink what’s possible; we’re not only going virtual, we’re going global! We’re taking the Bandit For Good Tour across the world, pivoting to provide virtual pro-bono Salesforce services to 19 nonprofits throughout North America, and for the first time, Australia and India.

For our third stop on this year’s Bandit Tour, we visited Canadian-based Makers Making Change

Using Open-Source Tech to Empower Canadians with Disabilities 

Makers Making Change, a Neil Squire program, is a community hub where Makers, such as engineers, occupational therapists and volunteers, develop and deliver affordable open-source assistive technologies to people with disabilities. 

“Our guiding vision is to achieve economic and social inclusiveness for all people with disabilities.”

According to a recent study over 80% of people living with a disability use an assistive device on a daily basis. However, the cost of many assistive technologies can be prohibitively expensive.

“A lack of access to affordable assistive technologies can further isolate people with disabilities and limit their full inclusion in our communities,” said Justin Pezzin, Program Manager at Makers Making Change.

The Makers Making Change platform enables volunteers to publish and share open-source assistive technology designs, made both by the organization and other makers, so that anyone can make a difference and help empower people with disabilities.

“It’s incredible to see Traction on Demand put so much focus and emphasis around corporate giving. Our involvement in the Bandit For Good Tour will bring us positive exposure, increase our visibility and allow us to reach new audiences that we otherwise wouldn’t have access to.” 

Connecting Technology, Community and Innovation using Salesforce 

Consolidating and Remediating Technical Debt: Makers Making Change had been using the Salesforce platform since 2017. During this time, their Salesforce solution had passed through many hands and as a result, was suffering from considerable technical debt, inefficient workflows and poor data health.

“The data structure was built before we really knew what our program would look like,” said Justin. “Everyone has been doing a great job adapting as our program has grown and changed, but it’s time we take a deeper look at how we can best clean up and organize our data for future success.”

Rethinking Data Structures: As their single source of truth, Makers Making Change heavily relies on their Salesforce solution to generate reports, track funding, capture project requests and connect potential Makers with new projects.

“At the moment we’re using Salesforce as a data-collecting bucket. It captures vital information that’s central to our mission, but trying to make sense of all that data, and use it in our reporting can be difficult, or even not possible at times, with our current data structure.”

Deduplication of Data: Working across multiple disparate systems, the Makers Making Change team was also seeing a lot of inaccurate and duplicated data, resulting in time-consuming manual data entry and a poor user experience.

Clean Data: Enabling Data-Driven Decision Making 

Eager to make the most of their time with Makers Making Change, the Bandit Tour got to work on a data-cleansing enablement plan that would provide a long-lasting impact for their team.

“We dug into their Salesforce system that was working, but not optimized and easy to use, and it was hampering their ability to grow and analyze their impact,” said John McInnes, Traction Bandit and Solution Engineer at Traction on Demand.

“We knew there were some quick wins that could make a huge difference to their daily operations, saving time, streamlining processes and we recommended some data structure changes that would set them up for long-term success.”

During their time with Makers Making Change the Bandits helped with:

Improved Data Model: The Bandits streamlined the existing data model for device requests and fulfillments, improving functionality and user experience. 

Optimized Page Layouts and Workflows: The Bandits created easy-to-use data entry page layouts to help increase efficiency, assist with deduplication of data and improve Lightning functionality.

Lasting Impacts: The Bandits helped to educate and empower the team to better understand the platform and automate processes, preventing further technical debt.

Creating a User-Friendly Data Model

With a fresh data structure, revised workflows and technical debt remediation roadmap, Makers Making Change are on a path to clean data and empowered teams.

“While clean data may not seem exciting to some, it’s one of our most important tools in our toolbelt,” said Justin. “With our new structure, we’ll be equipped to make powerful data-driven decisions, connect more Makers with requesters; ultimately use technology, knowledge and passion to serve and empower people with disabilities.” 

“Working with Makers Making Change was an incredible experience,” said Adeolu Oyeyinka, Traction Bandit and Business Solution Consultant at Traction on Demand. “Their passion, energy and drive to improve the lives of those with disabilities was inspiring and I look forward to working with them again soon.”

Keeping up With The Bandits

Want to join the Bandit Tour for Good festivities? Registration is now open for Here For Good, this year’s Bandit Tour for Good wrap-up party. Our guest speaker, Afdhel Aziz, will share his views on how the power of purpose can be a force for good. 

Register here for the TimeToValue Conference to join us at the Here for Good event and celebrate all things good. In the meantime, follow along our world tour through our social media channels (Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram) at #BanditTour20

You’re Invited: Here for Good

Registration is now open for Here for Good, this year’s Bandit Tour for Good wrap-up party. Join us November 17 to celebrate all things good!

Register

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