February Homeless Management Information System newsletter

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Love Your Data

Feb. 9, 2021

Love Your Data HMIS Newsletter

Quarterly dashboards updated

Changes are coming to the quarterly dashboard


The quarterly dashboards are updated for the second quarter of State Fiscal Year 2021 (Oct. 1 - Dec. 31). Take a look here, on our Tableau Public Page if you haven’t looked at them already.

As you are aware, we are working on consolidating the Temporary Housing, Rapid Re-Housing and Homelessness Prevention dashboards into one set of visualizations. Our hope is that this will be a one-stop shop for your performance needs.

If you like all of the information in the current visualizations, don’t worry, they will still be available with all of the existing data. We will be simply discontinuing updates to those as we move forward with this project. The rest of the dashboards are staying the same and will continue to be updated on their normal schedule.

If you are interested in participating in the creation of the new dashboard, take a look below for more information!

Dashboard feedback meeting and survey

We recently sent out a survey to gather your thoughts and feelings about the project-level dashboards and we received some great feedback (if you didn’t get the chance to fill out the survey, it is still up here).

The next step in this process is for us to hear from you in a virtual feedback and planning meeting. Come join us at 9:00 AM February 18th to participate in building a more user friendly experience for data visualization. You can register for the event here.

Here are the links to the existing dashboards, if you want to familiarize yourself with what’s being replaced and consolidated:

Report corner

Reports Corner

Every quarter we will examine a report or two to help you take ownership of your data

[DQXX-110] Duplicate Clients

This report looks for a possible match of someone’s name, social security number and date of birth. Keep in mind this only looks in the parts of HMIS you have access to, so it won’t check if the same person was entered in a different county or a different agency.

What do you do if you find a duplicate client? You can contact Alicia (alicia.osborne@commerce.wa.gov) to get that fixed.  

Fill out this worksheet  and attach it to your email with Alicia.

Excel at Excel Basics

Want to look like a spreadsheet wizard to impress your friends? Here we will explore the power of spreadsheets from the basics to advanced tips.

Named Ranges

Do you create Excel formulas and can’t always remember what that F14:F97 that it’s referencing is all about? Named ranges simplifies this by replacing those obscure alphanumeric ranges with a name of your choice.

Read more

Clarity Changes

In case you haven’t noticed yet, Clarity won’t let you enter someone’s birthdate (or approximate DOB) if you enter the quality of date of birth as:

  • Client doesn’t know
  • Client Refused or
  • Data Not Collected

So, Quality of Date of Birth has to be

  • FULL DOB reported or
  • Approximate or partial DOB reported

This applies to consent refused clients as well! Here is more information on Creating a New Consent Refused Client Profile in HMIS.

Dear Alicia,

Falling out of love with your data and need to rekindle the romance? Alicia has your back.

One of our readers writes:

Dear Alicia,

HMIS won’t open up to me anymore. I’m sure I didn’t do anything and it came out of the blue.

Here’s what’s going on: Everything was going fine until a week ago, when, all of a sudden, HMIS stopped opening up for me and locked me out. I’m absolutely certain I’m typing the right password. But no matter how careful I am, HMIS still locks me out. Did I do something wrong? How do I get HMIS to let me in again?”

  • Password Problems in Pend Oreille

Dear PPPO,

Have you considered there might be a third person complicating your relationship? My thought is that it’s your browser.

If you’re sure you’re typing in your password correctly, it might be that your browser has your password saved and is automatically trying to fill it in. By the way, your browser shouldn’t save your password under any circumstance.

Instructions on how to fix it is different based on what browser you’re using. Here are instructions on how to remove autofill for the four supported browsers:

Chrome, Firefox, Edge, Safari

Are you using a different browser? Well, for security or compatibility reasons, you should only be using either Chrome, Firefox, Edge, or Safari to access Clarity. Here are the download links for those browsers:

Chrome: https://www.google.com/chrome/

Firefox: https://www.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/

Edge: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/edge/features

Safari: https://support.apple.com/downloads/safari

I hope this helps you reconnect with your data!


If you have any questions, comments, or suggestions for future content please contact brian.fullerton@commerce.wa.gov.

That is all from us for now. Have a great quarter and don’t forget to love your data!