Date:  Thursday, August 3, 2017
Time:  1:30 – 3:30PM
Place:  Sobrato Conference Center, Milpitas
600 Valley Way, Room 1
Milpitas, CA 95035

Slides from the meeting can be found here:


Please use this link to download slide deck if desired. 

To register for the Data Standards Webinar, use the following links:

For more information about the 2017 Data Standards, visit the HUD Exchange website


    1. UPLIFT Presentation and Open Forum
    1. CoC / Coordinated Assessment Updates
    1. 2014 Version of APR Now Retired
    1. Alias Field on Profile Screen and Transgender Name Policy
    1. Data Standards Webinar
    1. Looker Report Updates
    1. Continuous Data Quality Improvement (CDQI)
  1. Data Quality / Data Culture Discussion

UPLIFT Presentation and Open Forum

1. Photos are important for UPLIFT badges.  At times, the photos are blurry or otherwise of low quality.  James Alvarado from City Team provided pointers about taking good quality photos:

  • Be careful of blending.  If someone is wearing a dark color shirt, avoid a dark background because the photo will come out looking like a floating head.  Same goes for light colored clothing and light backgrounds.
  • Cropping.  The best pictures include mid-torso to top of the head.  Strategies for cropping:
    • A lot of us take photos on smart phones.  Email photos to your desktop.
      • Meetings attendees reported that when you send photos “actual size” the files are sometimes too large to upload into Clarity Human Services.  Recommended sending photos small, medium, or large size.
    • Crop the photo on your desktop before sending to Clarity.  Don’t zoom in too much because it’ll cause the photo to pixelate.
    • Finally, use the Clarity Human Services cropping tool to fine tune how the photo will appear in the system.
  • Color Photos. Don’t use black and white photos.

2. UPLIFT Open Forum Discussion

  • Increased number to 2,500 total stickers (passes) so there are more available than in the past.  Hopefully this means we won’t run out as we have in the past.
    • New stickers will be distributed to agencies based on prior utilization trends.
    • Some agencies will see an increase in their standard quarterly allotment
    • Other agencies, that haven’t historically used all their allocated stickers, may see their standard allocation decreased.
  • Please return a sticker as soon as you know a client won’t use it so that it can be re-distributed to someone else who needs it.

CoC / Coordinated Assessment Updates

  • The HUD CoC NOFA is out.  There was a TA workshop on Tuesday, 8/1.  Application due to HUD end of September.
  • OSH is recruiting Senior Office Specialists to focus on HMIS data.  Candidates must have HMIS experience.  Please spread the word to anyone you think may be interested!
  • For VI-SPDAT training, OSH will begin scheduling monthly, in-person sessions. SCC HMIS users will need to attend one of the OSH training sessions and can no longer attend the OrgCode video training.  Registration links will be posted on  Eventually, a new VI-SPDAT training video will be posted.
  • SPDAT assessments will be activated this month.  You will find them in program assessments (in the same place you do annual assessments).
  • Referral reminders have been activated, set by OSH
    • HMIS will send an email to referral contacts if a program referral has been older than 7 days without changing Status to “Pending – In Process”
    • HMIS will send an email to referral contacts if a “Pending- In Process” has been older than 14 days without updating referral
    • Reminders will be sent out weekly

2014 Version of APR Now Retired

Reminder: the [HUDX-120] Annual Performance Report [OCT2014] was retired on August 1, 2017

The new version of the APR is [HUDX-226] Annual Performance Report [2017], in Reports Library, HUD Reports folder

  • Required by HUD
  • 2014 version is replaced by the 2017 version AND the HMIS Data Quality Report
  • 2014 version was used by the Review and Rank Committee in the past – they will be looking at this report in future
  • Can run 2017 version in web page format to evaluate if data is correct – lets you drill down to view data
  • If you are submitting the APR into Sage, web page format shows instructions on how to format the report to submit to Sage, including a link to convert the file to the correct format for submission
  • Feedback on Sage: upload was relatively easy, had some forms to fill out on Sage

Alias Field on Profile Screen and Transgender Name Policy

  • Reminder: Alias field is now visible on the Client Profile Screen
  • Important: the Alias field may already be prefilled with other ID numbers or names (e.g. from ServicePoint or from merging duplicate profiles). Please review existing information in the Alias field whenever you add a new Alias.
    • If there is an existing ID number in the Alias field, add a comma to the end of the existing information and add any new Alias for the client. Please do not delete ID numbers that are still being used.
  • Reason is because of new policy based on feedback from a HomeBase training on gender identity. Policy describes how to enter the name for clients who identify as transgender or other, and legal name is not the name they use
    • Alias field will be made visible on the Client Profile screen
    • Enter the name the client uses in the First and Last Name fields
    • Note the legal name in the Alias field if needed
    • Alias field is searchable

Data Standards Webinar

    • Agency Administrators are welcome to register and attend the webinars (see registration links above)
    • Note: September’s Agency Administrators meeting will cover the Data Standards updates with any specific notes related to SCC.

Looker Report Updates

New Looker reports available:

  • Housing Placement Report
    • Uses logic that OSH uses for housing placement
    • Counts Households as placed in housing if, during the report period:PSH = housing service starts
          • RRH = Move-In Date occurs
          • Any Program = exit to permanent housing
        • Excludes Homeless Prevention, CCP Pre-Housing, Landlord Incentive
    • Takes some time to run
    • Housing Placement Filters
      • Agency Name: Change to your agency
      • Custom Filter: Change “date(2017,07,01)” to report start date every time it appears
      • Custom Filter: Change “date(2017,08,01)” to report end date every time it appears
  • Annual Assessment Reminders
    • The Looker team is reviewing possible options for an Annual Assessment report
    • Current possible ways to review Annual Assessments:
      • For individual staff: Use the Caseload tab, Status Due tab to view assessment reminders for your caseload
      • For program monitoring:
        • [HUDX-225] HMIS Data Quality Report: Q4 “Income and Sources (4.2) at Annual Assessment” includes adults with no Annual Assessment as part of the Error Count.
        • [GNRL-106] Program Roster Report: can show all active clients, their entry date, and LOS (length of stay). The Assessments column shows the number of status update / annual assessments created for that client.
        • Looker (Explore tab): you can run a report that shows active clients with their start date and the date of their most recent status update / annual assessment.

Continuous Data Quality Improvement (CDQI)

  • Check-In on July CDQI Action Items.  Review data quality/completeness for key data elements (age, gender, ethnicity, race, veteran status, length of stay at prior location, income, exit destination)
  • August CDQI Focus: AHAR
    • How to help if your agency as ES, TH, or PSH programs:
      • Run the [HUDX-202-AD] Program Based Annual Homeless Assessment Report [AHAR] for 10/1/2016 – 7/31/2017 for each AHAR Category.
          • For all Questions: Review “Missing this information” sections
          • Review utilization (Question 2)
        • For Individual Categories, Question 3: Review “Age of Children” for accuracy
      • Look out for additional email requests from Bitfocus later this month / September related to capacity and utilization
    • If your agency does not have ES, TH, or PSH programs:
      • Please review data quality for your programs using same method as July

Data Quality / Data Culture Discussion


  • Every six months OSH sets goals for the next six months
  • For the next six months, OSH has the following goals:
    • Improved HMIS Data Quality across the CoC
    • Promoting a positive culture around data
      • What to have a conversation about what would be helpful
      • If a confidential forum or survey would be helpful, Bitfocus can arrange

Discussion Topics:

  • How does your agency view HMIS data and data quality? Is there a person focused on using data for program planning or evaluation?
  • How do your users view HMIS data and data quality? Do users at your agency use data in their daily jobs? If so, what do they do?
  • What would make your agency and users feel more invested in HMIS data?
  • What information / reports would be useful for your agency?
  • How can Bitfocus help?


  • People may think data entry is annoying, but not t0o bad if it is done correctly the first time
  • Data quality has improved after talking to users
  • Some agencies do have a program evaluation person
  • HMIS is used internally for conversations – funders are also more data driven
  • Topical workshops for different target audiences might be helpful (e.g. grant writers, topics related to funding)
  • Location tab – would be helpful to be able to enter the address at the end of the VI-SPDAT that populates the Location tab instead of having to enter it separately
  • Some agency managers run outcome reports for Case Managers to show where their efforts are going – helpful to be able to do that
  • Good to have 1-2 people per agency who are comfortable with pulling data from Clarity
  • Working with people people, not tech people – not concerned about numbers (more focused on objectives placed by management)
  • More information on how to use Looker would be helpful so that Agency Admins can run data/visuals to show their agency