- Introduction and Context
- All Active Projects Must Participate
- Process Overview
- Compliance Thresholds
- Submission Process
- Prepping Reports
- Sending the Report
- User Support
This is one of three articles about the data quality process. This article describes the overall structure of the data quality process and outlines the compliance measurements that your project will be measured on.
For instructions on how to run and interpret the report, please go here.
Introduction and Context
The Chicago Continuum of Care (CoC) utilizes data-informed approaches to coordinate services and resources in its efforts to end homelessness. Homeless Management Information System (HMIS) data quality is an important factor to measure efforts to end or prevent homelessness. The CoC relies on the work of all providers of all funding types to enter accurate, complete, and timely data to ensure we have the information we need to make informed decisions as a community.
The HMIS Data Quality Assessment process addresses completeness, accuracy, and timeliness of the data entered by service providers into HMIS, as guided by the Chicago HMIS Data Quality Plan.
In order to maintain data quality, providers will have access to a report accessible through the HMIS system. The report will address data in the following areas:
- Missing Values – Clients missing required assessment data undermines effective analysis of client data.
- Child-Only Entries – These entries are largely children erroneously enrolled in projects without their appropriate guardian grouped with them. These data entry errors hinder providers’ ability to count the number of families and individuals enrolled in a project.
- Bed Utilization – If HMIS shows the number of clients/families enrolled in a housing project is vastly different from the number of beds/rooms the project has, this might indicate there is a discrepancy between which clients are enrolled in the project in real life and which are indicated as being enrolled by HMIS data.
- Timeliness – Data should be entered into HMIS immediately after the event (i.e. individual’s entry into a project). Timely data entry ensures the data are accessible when they are needed and for the use in the Coordinated Entry System (CES).
This article goes over the structure and overall process of Data Quality, click the following links for specifics on how to run and interpret the report and how to clean your data.
This webinar was recorded on March 8th 2022. The slides can be found below. A more recent webinar will be posted the day after it is recorded.
All Active Projects Must Participate
All projects, regardless of funding, are required to participate in the quarterly data quality process. So long as a project is active and has at least one client enrolled, it is expected that the data quality report for said project be submitted.
Please refer to this sheet for a list of currently active projects that are expected to participate in the data quality process. Please be aware that you must inform the HMIS Team if a project is no longer operational, active, or using ServicePoint; you may do so either by emailing HelpDesk@allchicago.org or by submitting a ticket.
The Data Quality process includes two different reports. The Chicago DQ report covers Missing Values, Child-only Entries, and Bed Utilization; the Timeliness report covers Timeliness.
Chicago DQ Report (Missing Values, Child-only Entries, and Bed Utilization)
The Chicago DQ Report is a self-service report accessible within the Advanced Reporting Tool (ART) by Agency Technical Administrators.
This report will flag any elements that are missing or that were entered incorrectly, providing a place for users to begin the process of troubleshooting and correcting data. Please keep in mind that data within HMIS will be reflected in the ART report the following day (e.g., corrections made to a client’s record on 3/10/2022 will not be visible in the report until 3/11/2022).
If your project has legitimate child-only entries, or your unit list has not yet been updated, please refer to these links:
- Child Only Entry
- Utilization Non-Compliance
- If your project had any construction issues or a reason for why the units/beds were not available
Regardless of the state of the data, every provider must submit a report to All Chicago by the first deadline (Mar. 29). If the data does not meet compliance, the provider will need to correct the issues within HMIS the day before the second and final report deadline (Apr 7) before re-submitting.
For a full guide on interpreting the report and how to troubleshoot data errors, please refer to this article.
Timeliness is tracked through an automated report created by All Chicago. The report will be provided during each quarterly DQ process, and can be scheduled more frequently at the provider’s request.
This timeliness report will track timeliness:
- At entry
- At exit
- At housing move-in dates
- For shelter services
Timeliness measures the time it takes to create an element in HMIS. This measure applies even if the entry date is backdated. For instance, if a client originally came into a project on 2/1/2022, but they were not entered into that project in HMIS until 2/15/2022, the information will be considered out of compliance as it took 14 days to indicate that the client was enrolled in the project. Timeliness data cannot be corrected.
Data Quality Process Timeline
The reports run for this Data Quality Assessment process will look at clients enrolled between 1/1/2021 and 12/31/2021.
Below are dates to observe:
Tues March 8
All Chicago notifies agencies to submit the Chicago DQ report and a Webinar will be held.
Monday, March 14
DQ report will be made available to run in ART and agencies may begin submitting.
Timeliness reports will be sent out to ATAs during the week.
Tuesday, March 29
1st Round Due
Submission of Chicago DQ reports due no later than 5:00pm. There must be a report per project (though these reports can be in the same email).
(Remember: anything you add or delete within HMIS Monday won’t show up in ART until Tuesday. If you need to add or delete anything that will be on the report, complete that by Monday, Mar 28).
Wed, March 30th
ATA Meeting Wednesday, March 30, 2022, 10-11:30AM
Friday, Apr 1st
1st Round Results
All Chicago will post all projects’ results at http://bit.ly/ChicagoDataQuality.
Projects that have:
● Any data elements with missing values amounting to more than 5% of clients enrolled,
● One or more child-only entries or
...will need to correct their data.
Projects whose missing data elements fall under 5%, have zero erroneous child-only entries, or are not out of the range of compliance for utilization do not need take any further action, and do not have to correct data for the second round.
Thursday, Apr 7th
2nd Round of Corrections Due
For those projects who needed to fix data, the re-submission of the reports with updated and corrected data is due by 5:00pm.
Again, all updates will need to be made the day prior, Apr 6, so it shows up on the report the next day.
Tuesday Apr 12
All Chicago will post the numbers based on projects’ final report submissions at http://bit.ly/ChicagoDataQuality.
In order to be fully compliant with the Data Quality Assessment process, all HMIS providers must submit and/or correct the HMIS generated reports by the deadlines listed and with the methods specified in this document.
No more than 5% of clients enrolled in the project can miss any data element. This is calculated by looking at the average of the “% Missing” column on the summary page of the Chicago DQ Report.
There must be zero child-only entries. A child only entry is flagged when a client under the age of 18 is enrolled in a project without being connected to a parent/guardian. This can happen for two reasons:
- The child was entered separately from their parent/guardian
- The client’s date of birth is missing
In instances where a provider is working with an unaccompanied minor, please complete the child only exemption form.
Bed or Room/Unit Utilization
Bed or room/unit utilization must be within the following ranges:
- Emergency Shelters: 80%-105%
- Transitional Housing: 80% - 105%
- Permanent Supportive Housing: 85% - 105%
- Safe Haven: 85% - 105%
The utilization looks at how many clients were enrolled in your project on October 27, 2021 as compared to how many beds/units are indicated in your Bed and Unit Inventory sheet.
If a project is over/under-utilizing their bed list, but is in compliance for their unit utilization, then the project will still be in compliance. The opposite situation would also count as being in compliance. So long as either bed or unit utilization is in compliance, the project as a whole will be considered compliant.
If you believe the bed/unit numbers are erroneous, please submit a Help Desk ticket indicating why. We will be measuring based on how many beds/units your project reported having on October 27, 2021.
If there was a reason why beds/units were not in use, such as construction or an emergency, please submit a utilization non-compliance form.
Timeliness rates for entries, housing move-in dates, exits, and shelter services must be above 90%.
The following time frames are required for any of these elements to be considered compliant for timeliness.
- New project enrollments (“Entries”)
- When a client is initially enrolled in a project, the following information must be entered into HMIS within two days:
- Date of birth
- Household composition
- Project Entry Date
- Exits from project enrollments (“Exits”)
- For all bed-based project types (Emergency Shelter, Safe Haven, Transitional Housing, and various Permanent Housing projects), projects should exit clients from their project in HMIS no more than two (2) days after their last stay.
- For all other project types (Services Only, Rapid Re-Housing, Street Outreach, Day Shelter, Homelessness Prevention, Other), projects should exit clients from their project in HMIS no more than seven (7) days after their last contact.
- Service records for stays at shelters (“Shelter Stay Services”) must be entered into HMIS within two days
- Housing Move-in Dates should be documented within two business days of the client moving into their unit
- When a client is initially enrolled in a project, the following information must be entered into HMIS within two days:
The report is to be submitted before the first round deadline (Mar. 29), and the second round deadline (Apr. 7). For a full overview of the timeline, please review our process article.
Any projects listed in on this spreadsheet are expected to participate.
After downloading the Excel version of the Chicago DQ report from ART, the files must be renamed using the ChicagoDQ_----_yyyy-mm-dd template.
If you were to run a report for the sample project “All Chicago – Emergency Shelter(883)”, the file would be renamed to: ChicagoDQ_0883_2020-03-04.
The date can be updated to whenever you submit the report – it is simply for tracking purposes. However, inputting your project’s HMIS ID in the place of the dashes is critical.
Sending the Reports
To submit the Chicago DQ report, please create an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- To: email@example.com
- Subject: Data Quality Report Submission Attachments
You may attach all of your data quality reports together in one email, no need to send them separately.
The HMIS Team will conduct two webinars to help you with your DQ reports. Assistance can also be requested through the Help Desk.
Data Quality Process Update Tuesday March 8, 2022, 10 - 11:00AM
ATA Meeting Wednesday, March 30, 2022, 10 - 11:30AM
Additionally, agencies will be able to request dates to meet with the HMIS Team to address any questions or issues they have with their reports. Before requesting a session, please note the following:
- All sessions are limited to 30 minutes
- These sessions will be done online - please ensure your computer has the capacity to record audio
- An Agency Technical Administrator, or someone with ART access, must be on the call as well
- Please open a ticket with the Help Desk highlighting any specific clients that need troubleshooting
- Please have your report scheduled so that the HMIS team member can pull your information quickly, or email the report you plan on referencing beforehand
- Doing so will save you time during the session