Impact Stories: Witnessing the Impact of Our Work

In her two weeks of training, Tiza didn’t stand out much. She was quiet and apprehensive with her new job. Training isn’t easy and we’d expected that Tiza wouldn’t make it through the material.

We were wrong.

After one month, Tiza had surpassed all her goals and proven herself as one of our top Data Specialists. Before joining Impact Enterprises, she had no career prospects. Like so many young Zambians, she had finished grade school with outstanding marks but entered the world that offered no opportunities. Her CV listed no formal job experience and she was idling in a world that desperately needed a new generation to carry the country forward.

In a country where unemployment after graduation is the norm, the social impact of our work can already be seen rippling through our community.

For 57% of our employees, working at Impact Enterprises is their first formal job. We are laying the foundation for their professional careers and presenting a path away from the informal employment that most young Zambians are restricted to.

On a day-to-day basis, our employeeDSC04452s are improving their computer skills and know-how, typing, and English language ability. We provide focused training sessions on web research, computer software, and information management. They engage in weekly discussions on workplace skills like communication, conflict resolution, and creative thinking.

All this enhances their abilities, strengthens the workplace cohesion, while providing improved services for our clients. It’s a win-win-win.

According to the Zambian Central Statistical Office, 1.7 million urban youth are unemployed in Zambia – the age group Impact Enterprises directly hires from. By providing them jobs in the digital world, we are engaging the youth of Zambia who have so much untapped potential, like Tiza.

Our employees are also becoming role models for their peers. Highcom Training Institute, the local IT training center that is a primary recruiting partner, has reported increased interest and enrollment in its courses due to the attractive prospect of finding employment.

Interviews with our team show us just how important their jobs are to them. For Clement, it’s the financial security for starting a family. For Loveness, it’s a chance to save independently for her dreams of attending university. For Eugene, it’s led to a newfound passion for IT and the desire to study computer science. These are just a few of our success stories.

After three months at Impact Enterprises, Tiza submitted her resignation letter; happily, she was leaving for college thanks to the salary she had earned. Her transformation during her few months of employment demonstrates the potential that every young adult possesses here in Africa.

For most start-ups, each employee losDSC04482t is a shortfall. For us, these are achievements.

Doing good while doing well is at the core of Impact Enterprises. We are far from realizing our full potential but are already proud of the social impact our work has created. Zambia is a country of great potential, but a lack of opportunities is letting a generation of talent go to waste. Our work is changing this, one job at a time.

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Natasha, winner of Miss Chipata 2015, tells us about becoming a doctor, and empowering youth

Today we talked to our employee Natasha who also holds the title of Miss Chipata! She is a great example of a Zambian woman who is smart, beautiful and has big ambitions.

How long have you been with Impact Enterprises?

3 month.

What are you passionate about?

I am passionate about studying medicine, I really love science.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

I see myself in school, studying. I want to become a cardiologist. I am applying for universities abroad, I would love to go to Russia, China, UK or Australia. After finishing my studies, I want to come back to Zambia and work in my country.

How working in Impact Enterprises helps you towards your goal?

I can save money for school. I am also learning new things, my knowledge about computers and typing skills increased.

How do you feel being Miss Chipata?

That’s a great feeling of course and one of my biggest achievements in life so far. It gives me an opportunity to communicate with diverse audience. I am passionate about environmental issues and on the weekends I want to visit different locations and do the talks about environment, I want to empower youth to be strong and make the change in the world.

Your Data Needs Help

Innovations in big data, analytics tools, and easier access to broad global data are helping reshape businesses, research, and global initiatives. But data is only valuable when it’s used. Managing that data is an integral process for all organizations, but can be a huge burden.

Luckily, lots of outsourced solutions exist to solve all these problems. Let’s take a look at what the specific issues around data management are and how different professionals can benefit.

Common Data Management Problems

Incomplete Data

This is perhaps the biggest issue with large datasets. Information might have been compiled from various sources, collection might have stopped due to cost or time constraints, or the data simply wasn’t available at a certain time. Filling in the gaps can be a massive endeavor, requiring research across countless sources.

Data Conversion

Reconfiguring the data can be the most time consuming process to managing data. This is true for both non-digital content, such as surveys, receipts, or claims that have to be scanned, and digital content, such as emails or reports that need to be reformatted. Some solutions like computer macros or optical character recognition (OCR) can simplify the work, but the technology is still inadequate and requires manual data entry.

Erroneous Data

Whenever data is collected or converted, there’s always the possibility for errors. Handling large datasets requires reviewing that the information collected is correct or formatted consistently. Simple problems like punctuation, number formats, or field mapping can ruin the database. Human decision may be the only way to catch mistakes that a computer isn’t able to recognize.

Various Solutions for Various Organizations

Businesses

All businesses are concerned with efficiency. Outsourcing has many benefits besides cutting costs, and DSC00340v2data management can improve operations both internally and externally. All sectors of business have to deal with data, whether it’s customer records, inventory numbers, market data, or proprietary content. While most businesses simply can’t handle scaling their operations, some struggle to even get their data management off the ground.

The right outsourcing partner can help compliment all your needs, whether it’s scaling or providing expertise. One-off data conversion projects or ongoing support can be done cost effectively and provide insight into new revenue opportunities. An experienced company can also fill in your knowledge gaps to ensure you have a process that makes sense for your growth plan.

Research Facilities

Universities and private research organizations often are unaware of the services available to assist with their work. These professionals handle huge stacks of data, ranging from historic financial reports to foreign medical records to global climate surveys. Researchers often work independently and resources are difficult to share. As a result, the default decision is to involve university volunteers, such as grad students, close to the institution.

Today, a global pool of educated graduates is at their disposal to help manage this data. Outsourcing companies are highly competitive with their hiring process and often select from top universities in their countries. They can offer industry-specific knowledge and insight of the same caliber as domestic volunteers. This allows for researchers to spend their time analyzing their data rather than digging through the noise.

Public Institutions

Governments around the world are gradually adopting electronic systems for all their services. However, budget constraints, red tape, and undeveloped relationships have made this a slow process. Yet these are the institutions with the most to gain in the long term. Developing countries in particular will have a huge opportunity to convert their records to digital form. Even established institutions such as foreign embassies and multinational organizations, like the IMF or World Bank, can expand their record management globally.

Luckily, as outsourcing destinations expand throughout the world beyond India and the Philippines, the advantages of outsourcing data management grow in kind. Local expertise in language support, geographic knowledge, and process workflow will make partnering with a service provider easier than ever.

High caliber outsourcing providers, like Impact Enterprises, have the capabilities to address all of these issues. Make sure you understand both your data needs and how the outsourcing partner can best help with your projects. Data management doesn’t have to be a daunting process, thanks to the solutions at your disposal.