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Using Music and Data to Measure Impact and Wellbeing

By Guest Author February 9, 2022

The Salesforce ecosystem is an intelligent receptacle of information where we input data, and, in turn, we get recommendations on ways to be more efficient and make our customers' journeys more engaging. But what if we could move beyond that and use the power of connected data clouds to directly change lives?

At Noise Solution, we’re doing just that. We use Salesforce tools to create a digital environment which engages at-risk youth, and has proven to be highly impactful in changing negative trajectories and positively impacting wellbeing. Our work in this area has been recognised with two national awards from the Royal Society for Public Health and PwC, but more importantly, it’s enabling young people to change their lives. Here’s how we’re doing it.

Understand What You’re Doing and Why

Whilst we can present as a music organisation that makes beeping noises with kids, we are actually interested in positively impacting their sense of wellbeing. The evidence on this is clear: if we impact their wellbeing, we get better health, social, education, and engagement outcomes. If you’re working in any of those spaces, wellbeing is what you should be interested in.

Man working
A nontraditional learner in Dallas College’s mechatronics apprenticeship program.

Count the Right Numbers

So often we like to count as much as we can, because, well, we can and it’s easy. Salesforce helps us to count and report on whatever we want, but does that data actually help us improve? Or are they just big numbers we like to talk about? As an organisation interested in wellbeing, we use a wellbeing scale (SWEMWBS, read about it here) to understand whether what we do works or not. We’ve built a flow to gather this data and carry out statistical analysis on the numbers. It’s all automated, all handled by Salesforce, and ultimately scalable.

Numbers Only Tell Half a Story

Numbers are easy to count, but what about the stories of the individuals we engage with?

Each participant uses a private Chatter group in a secure Salesforce community to capture highlights of them being good at something using video, audio, photos, and text (shout out here to the Appinium team and their awesome products for native media handling and sharing). The participant then invites into that group the people that they’ve identified as important to them, like their mum, teacher, or social worker. We use automation to nudge this ‘community group’ into commenting on what they have seen in a familiar social media experience. It is this externalisation and validation of success that creates change, and, as a result, changes lives.

Every case study you’ve ever written or read has been done after the fact and has been hand-picked to show the project in the best light possible. We’ve offloaded this case study creation to the participants themselves and created a digital environment where they can tell their own story every time.

Qualitative Data Analysis

This is where stuff gets crazy. We have these aforementioned private Chatter groups that are full of rich qualitative data in video form. If we wanted to analyse that, we would have to watch every video individually and make a judgement about each one. Obviously, that would be resource heavy and subjective.

With the help of our friends at VRP Consulting, we now have a ‘proof of concept’ engine which sucks out the audio, turns that into a text transcript, and identifies language that’s important to us based on our theory of change. These results are then analysed for positive, neutral, or negative sentiment and then shared with the community in the form of next best actions.

Because Salesforce is a connected ecosystem, we can marry these qualitative insights with quantitative wellbeing scores and get a 360-degree picture of impact. Why is that important? Because if we know what is — and more importantly what isn’t — going well at the time, we can react to it, drive more impact, and change more lives.

Come Along for the Ride?

We don’t want to keep this to ourselves. As a social enterprise, we exist to further our social mission, and we want to help as many organisations as possible get the most out of their work.

We’re at the very beginning of our journey to become a Salesforce ISV Partner, and we hope to be able to bring some of these innovations to market beginning this year. If you want us to keep you up to date, you can follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or Instagram, and sign up to our tech newsletter.

Learn more about how you can get started with Salesforce at your organization.

About the Author

Damien Ribbans headshot
Damien Ribbans is an operations director with over 20 years of experience in the third sector, having worked with organisations focused on areas including disability, mental health, elderly populations, and homelessness.