HMIS Report Generation Tool
In the traditional reporting model, grantees rely upon software vendors to develop and maintain data collection systems that can generate the necessary reports. The "Distributed Reporting Model" (DRM)embraced by the HMIS Report Generation Tool contrasts with traditional reporting methods in that the reporting tool is sent—or distributed—to the data, instead of the data being posted or sent to the reporting tool. But it is not simply about where the reporting occurs. DRM provides an alternative approach to meeting HUD reporting requirements while also empowering stakeholders at all levels with the advanced tools that can be used to develop, implement and sustain data-driven practices geared to ending homelessness.
Simtech Solutions developed and licensed the HMIS Report Generation Tool to HUD for the purposes of producing Annual Performance Reports (APRs) in the wake of the Federal Stimulus. HUD needed to report to Congress how the $1.5 billion in Homeless Prevention and Rapid Re-Housing (HPRP) funds were being spent and HMIS vendors had little time to code a new report in their system. This Excel-based tool was developed in a manner that any grantee could produce the required report using data that was exported from any HMIS software that was capable of producing data in the HUD CSV Exchange Format. The HMIS Report Generation Tool is is also used as a tool for HMIS software vendors to ensure their programming logic of both the APR and the ESG CAPER is accurate, and also for grantees to use as a backup for situations when their HMIS vendor is incapable of producing a valid report.
More recently, domestic violence providers throughout the US are using the Point in Time Report Generation Tool to support secure data collection and reporting for the annual homeless count. Excel is admittedly a simple tool - but sometimes the best solutions for complex problems are the simple ones.