Software aids ex-prisoners' reintegration

A grassroots organisation is using an open source business intelligence program to improve its chances of helping integrate ex-prisoners into the community.

A grassroots organisation is using an open source business intelligence program to improve its chances of helping integrate ex-prisoners into the community.

The non-profit Australian Community Service Organisation supports people making the transition from prison into the community to reduce repeat offending. It also works with those at risk of entering the justice system.

The organisation's senior manager of ICT, Rick Noble, said its IT department had historically been under-resourced.

"But that all changed about a year and half ago - the position I am in now was created and a few other resources were thrown at IT," Mr Noble said. "One of which was looking at business intelligence [BI] and how we could look at getting more information out of a new client management system."

Business intelligence software defines programs that report, analyse and help present data contained in other enterprise systems.

"The client management system is quite significant. It supports three major business arms of the organisation. It is like the financial system for a bank - it is the bread and butter of what we do," Mr Noble said. "But the reporting component of it is not that fantastic despite it being a good commercial product. So we looked at a couple of alternatives. There was one recommended by the vendor not much better than the internal reporting."

The organisation decided on Jaspersoft, an open source-based commercial offering.

Read the full story at smh.com.au/itpro

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