Zoho Creator Simplifies Data Management for Providence Community Action – A Case Study

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Providence Community Action is a private, non profit organization, dedicated to improving the quality of life for low income Providence residents. Their services include heating and weatherization assistance, consumer credit and debt counseling, clinical services (counseling), case management, an affordable housing program, Interim Middle School for youth excluded from regular public school and


much more
We spoke to Damian Costantino, the organization’s IT director who’s responsible for networking communications, system administration and database creation.







Damian had implemented an application using Zoho Creator, and they had about five users using it extensively. These five users in turn would deal with 100′s of clients. Damian, being the database administrator, was very well-versed in programming languages like Python and SQL, and had previously experimented

with 


Google Forms, Filemaker, Microsoft SharePoint and 


Microsoft


 Access.

 Complexity was not a concern, but the cost certainly was. They wanted something affordable, yet robust, especially because they were operating from four different locations, but not on the same VPN. No client should be serviced at more than one location, and details of the services provided had to be reported to their funders and agencies which refer clients. 

“What I like most about Zoho Creator is that you can make it as
complicated as you want or drill down as you want. The limit is what you
put on it.” – Damian Constantino, IT Director 


The integration between Zoho Creator and Zoho Reports is what they use extensively, second to sharing forms. Damian has made union queries a big part of the reports they generate, so that the graphical representation of data is self-explanatory; people don’t have to filter data. He says this application has improved their data collection and reporting efficiency 100%. They also appreciated not having to configure a connection to a back-end database and constantly ensure the connection is sound. Eliminating usage complexities for those who collect and report on data is an advantage with Zoho Creator, he said.


Zoho Creator turned out to be all that they were looking for in a database application,
efficiently refining the way they collected and reported on data. We’re also proud of the fact that Damian, a system administrator and a
network engineer who holds data security as a primary responsibility trusts Zoho Creator with their organization’s sensitive
data. 

Watch out for some more myth-busting stories about Zoho Creator. Coming soon.

Foulplay in the New Age Web

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Newsvine recently had been seeded with reports that several profiles and objectionable content being removed from My Space. Many concerned parents also wrote in to express their fears. Although there were hints of paranoia, any service on the web is exploited, despite clear instructions on the web. It is not uncommon that most users fail to read, atleast a few lines of that “Terms and Conditions” before adding a tickmark in the Checkbox.

While the whole essence of new age web is Social Networking, Social Bookmarking, and requires an active participation from the users, it is of great importance to validate and verify the authenticity of the content that is being contributed to the web. Digital Signatures and Privacy Policies have no respect at all, for every user takes them for granted. But with something close to 250,000 users a day, it remains to be seen how this can be done.

Atleast to start with, the trustworthiness of any person can be established on how many people link to her in the case of Social Networking sites, based on the frequency of posting, based on how many people publish similar items. Something akin to PageRank. It is not an entirely fool-proof system , but can be done as a preliminary measure, for, this would atleast persuade a person from providing fake information. Much as Data Security is impotarnt, accuracy of information is important too. Wikipedia faced a similar problem.

No extreme measure can be done to check the authenticity too, for the entire world will then cry foul – as many already do with Google. That would be branded as a threat to privacy. So where do we strike the balance? Unless ofcourse, each contributor realizes the social responsibility and the ethics of the Virtual World.