Last week MAAC staff attended the National Human Services Data Consortium. This national conference is chocked full of information on everything HMIS. It is very motivating to be surrounded by like-minded individuals for 2 days of learning, sharing and networking. The conference was held in Minneapolis and had beautiful “spring” weather with highs in the 40’s and was very soggy.
2 Sessions that I enjoyed most were on D3 and HMIS governance. D3 is an open source java based tool for creating super fancy graphics. You don’t need to be a code geek to be able to use the tool and the charts (or diagrams, graphs, tables, figures…) generated can be very sophisticated and compelling for any agency wanting to tell a story with their data. I can’t wait to dive in and teach local agencies how to use it!
It was truly inspiring to be reminded that we, HMIS Administrators, are not in this alone. All too often I feel isolated, as if I am the only HMIS administrator facing certain problems. I had the opportunity to meet and talk to administrators from Oregon, North Carolina and Massachusetts, among other places, and while our communities are not identical, some of the struggles and obstacles we face are alike.
Also we took the first MAAC selfie!