Spark Uses FormAssembly to Administer Impact Evaluation Forms for their Career and Mentorship Programs
About Spark Program
The Spark Program is a career exploration and discovery program designed for middle school students, with programs that start in the fall of a student’s seventh grade year. Spark offers “real-world experiences, curriculum, workshops, and resources that enable middle school students to explore careers and create space for self-discovery.” Mentors from corporate partners work directly alongside students to provide insight and guidance as students work on projects, explore career fields, and develop dreams for the future.
Case Study Snapshot
The Form Advocate
Michael Kolodner, Director of Information Systems
Michael Kolodner, Director of Information Systems at Spark, shared how FormAssembly allows Spark to streamline their data collection processes. The organization collects extensive data vital to their organization and its growth, which is key in ensuring that programs run well and result in desired outcomes. Spark’s collection needs include impact evaluations, mentorship applications, and specialized data entry forms provided to staff members. Due to the extensive relationships and complex nesting between their Salesforce records, the organization benefits from a form solution that can quickly bridge information and update in real-time. “For example, our mentor/student relationship in Salesforce is actually several objects deep. FormAssembly digs through all of those nested records to find the student that the mentor works with,” Kolodner shared.
Active forms in use across the organization
Time reduction for creating Salesforce records (estimated)
Students and mentors involved (estimated)
Complex Data Entry
Prior to using FormAssembly, Spark relied heavily on paper application forms. Whenever possible, they now use FormAssembly to streamline how information about students and mentors is entered into their records. Because the forms know which records to place into Salesforce, staff performing data entry now have only one step instead of several time-consuming steps. Whereas staff previously needed extensive training to become acclimated to the process, their current onboarding time is reduced due to the simplicity of managing a single form.
Making full use of FormAssembly’s Salesforce integration, Spark relies on their family application forms to create the appropriate records for the student and parents or guardians, and to connect those pieces of information to the correct school.
“For a staff member to be doing those steps in Salesforce, they’d be creating multiple contacts and clicking through to create the relationships. Now, the forms take care of all of that,” Kolodner said.
FormAssembly has allowed Spark to save valuable time and resources. While they’re able to collect the same information as they would on paper, Kolodner estimates that the time needed to enter that data into the system has been reduced by up to 70%. Additionally, Spark has seen a reduction in onboarding time for new employees and fellows, who help get students enrolled into various programs.
“[New employees] need to understand the data architecture that undergirds our program, but they don’t need to know it cold. In their first few weeks of work, it’s unrealistic to for them to learn the full data structure and enter records accurately. But they can pull up a web form and type into the fields,” Kolodner said.
Additionally, Spark staff save more time with the help of FormAssembly’s Salesforce integration, which can easily tackle complex nested records and contacts.
When creating new forms, Kolodner relies heavily on the FormAssembly Prefill Connector, which was a huge selling point in considering FormAssembly as the perfect tool. Although Spark’s forms look fairly basic on the surface, they’re more complex on the backend due to the level of detail that is being prefilled automatically.
“The prefill connector - no one out there has anything like it,” Kolodner said.
Spark also implements a variety of hidden fields within their forms. These fields not only help the form connect information to Salesforce without having to show the respondent on the front-end, but they also assist in troubleshooting any issues that may arise. As Spark’s forms are so multi-layered, hidden fields often enable quicker fixes when a form submission throws an error, without the added burden of digging through each form layer.
Getting acclimated to FormAssembly was a fairly quick process for Spark, but Kolodner shared that the Support team has always been available for quick responses and helpful answers. When a certain form field was giving him confusing results, he contacted FormAssembly Support for a solution.
“Support pounded away at it for several days, and we got there. I really appreciate that and was really pleased that I was able to get that level of support,” Kolodner said.