Using location analysis to effectively deliver community service programs and measure performance
The Saver Plus program has assisted over 30,000 Australians build their financial capability and learn to save.
Developed in 2003 by ANZ and the Brotherhood of St Laurence, Saver Plus is the longest running and largest matched savings and financial education program in the world. Delivered by community organisations in 60 communities across Australia, the program is designed to help people on low incomes build their financial skills, knowledge and confidence.
The 10 month program requires participants to identify and save towards an eligible education-related savings goal and participate in at least 10 hours of the MoneyMinded financial education program offered as part of Saver Plus. Participants are supported by a Saver Plus Coordinator. At the successful completion of the program, ANZ provides the participant with $1 for every $1 saved (up to $500) for the nominated educational expense for the participant or their children.
The Business Challenge
Saver Plus is the product of a successful long-term partnership between the Brotherhood of St Laurence and ANZ. Together they designed and implemented the program and continue to co-manage its operations through the Saver Plus National Office, housed within the Brotherhood of St Laurence. National Manager, Claire Lindsay-Johns explained that, like many not-for-profit programs, Saver Plus is operating in an environment where costs are increasing and access to funding is competitive. Consequently, in order to be more effective and efficient, strategic promotion of the program is a key focus.
When Saver Plus first approached .id, they wanted to know which communities they should target – i.e. which locations has the highest proportions of people who met the program eligibility criteria. Later, they also wanted to understand if their promotional activities were effective.
The .id Solution
.id has had a long relationship with Saver Plus, providing analytics to inform the selection of the 60 Saver Plus communities (‘sites’) and then creating a visual representation of each site in 2009, 2011 and 2013. This included developing maps that showed which areas within a site had the highest proportion of potential participants as well as plotting the locations of past participants – essentially, a guide for where to focus their promotions.
Claire says the maps were used extensively. They were printed, hung on office walls and annotated to include current information like the locations of ANZ branches and schools involved in the Saver Plus program.
“The maps were incredibly helpful, however, we were keen to have them updated to ensure our activities kept up with changing trends and eligible populations,” said Claire.
In 2014, rather than update the static maps .id built a customised .id Placemaker application for Saver Plus to deliver a more responsive mapping system that brought all of the information into a dynamic environment that could be explored and analysed. The information included program office locations, catchments, participants, penetration rates, target market locations, ANZ branches and schools.
“The move to .id Placemaker has been very positive. The visual way that the information is presented enables users to easily pinpoint locations with the greatest need for Saver Plus services,” Claire said.
.id Placemaker was rolled out to program staff in 2015, and included tailored training from .id to kick-start takeup and maximise efficiency gains as quickly as possible.
The managers have used this as an opportunity to sit down with their team and review promotion plans and activities. Using the information presented in .id Placemaker as an evidence base, each site coordinator is developing a targeted promotion plan.
“At an operational level, .id Placemaker has been a really good tool to guide discussions between management and site coordinators. It has also reduced the time that it takes for my national office team to respond to requests for data and analysis. The .id Placemaker application puts the information directly into the hands of those who need it to increase efficiency and add value to our planning.” Claire said.
.id – the population experts
.id is a company of population experts – demographers, spatial analysts, urban planners, forecasters, census data and IT experts who build demographic information products for Australia & New Zealand.
We understand how cities, towns and regions are growing and changing. Name a place and we can tell you about its population’s past, present and future.
We use spatial data to tell this story in powerful web applications.
We share this knowledge with our clients so they can make confident decisions about when and where to provide services and invest in infrastructure.
If you found this article interesting, you may also like to read about our work with another Not-for-Profit, the Cancer Council. Here we helped build an evidence base to focus training and marketing efforts as well as inform site selection and network planning decisions.