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Basic terminology used on Impact Cloud

This article explains the concepts and terms used by Sopact on Impact Cloud.

Impact Cloud®. Sopact's SaaS platform to measure and manage impact. 

Impact Strategy. At Sopact, we call Impact Strategy the group of outcomes, metrics, hypothesis, etc. that drive an organization's Impact Measurement and Management plan. As a feature, our Impact Strategy module includes two frameworks: The Theory of Change and Impact Management Project.

Theory of Change. The Theory of Change is a map to document the inputs, activities, outputs, outcomes and impact of an initiative, project, program, or investment theme. For some organizations, this might be known as the Evaluation Plan, the Logical Framework or Logic Model. 

Inputs. Resources needed for the initiative, project, program, or investment to happen. For example, capital or volunteers.

Activities. The concrete actions within the initiative, project, program or investment. For example, training.

Short-term Outcome. Also known as Output. The immediate results of the activities. For example, the number of acquiring new skills through training.

Medium-term Outcome. The change that will happen as a result of the outputs. For example, the percentage of people getting a better job due to the new skills.

Impact. The system change that will happen in the long term. For example, the economic growth of the community. 

Impact Management Project. This framework classifies the outcomes or results in five dimensions: What (are the outcomes), Who (are the stakeholders experiencing the outcomes), How Much (outcome is happening), Contribution (of your organizations towards the outcomes), and Risk (of the outcomes to not happen). At Sopact, we use this same framework to design stakeholder surveys. 

Metrics. On Impact Cloud, we use "metrics" and "indicators" interchangeably. 

Frequency. Refers to the frequency in which the data is summarized for the metrics. For example, monthly, quarterly, annually, etc. 

Standard Metrics. Metrics or indicators that are part of Sopact's metrics catalog, which include standards such as IRIS+, SDG indicators, etc. 

Custom Metrics. Metrics or indicators that are created from scratch. These metrics can also be aligned to the Sustainable Development Goals within Impact Cloud. 

Portfolio. Refers to the group of projects, programs, investments or enterprises that are the vehicle for the outcomes to happen. 

Impact Maker. This is the module on Impact Cloud were we manage the complete portfolio. 

Project. On impact Cloud, project is used to refer to a project, program, initiative, impact theme, investment theme or portfolio company depending on the type of organization. We assign metrics to projects.

Prospective Project. We use this section to manage projects that are still on a due diligence process and might or might not become active. In this stage, due diligence/application data can be collected.

Active Project. We use this section to manage projects that are ongoing.

Inactive Project. We use this section to manage projects that have reached and end date. In this stage, any data collected for the projects will be available for analysis; however, no new data can be collected. 

Project Overview. Section of the project where profile information can be documented. For example, location, capital invested or grant amount, start date, end date, etc. 

Metrics and Results. Section of the project to view the summarized results for the metrics defined in the Impact Strategy according to the frequency selected. 

Baseline. Column in Metrics and Results where baseline data can be entered (to be compared to the current results).

Forecast. Column in Metrics and Results where forecast data can be entered (to be compared to the actual results). Impact Cloud does not support forecast calculations; the forecast values have to be manually entered. 

Target. Column in Metrics and Results where targets can be entered (to be compared to the actual results).

Metrics Sets. On Impact Cloud, a metrics set is a group of metrics that was defined in the Impact Strategy. By default, the metrics are grouped based on the Impact Strategy name (regardless if it is a Theory of Change or Impact Management Project strategy).

Reporting Period. Refers to the period of time for which the data is summarized according to the frequency. For example, if the frequency is quarterly, a reporting period could be Q1-2020.

Raw Data. Section of the project to manage stakeholder data coming from surveys and other systems. 

Table. A table holds stakeholder data, whether the data is imported or entered through a survey. On Impact Cloud, survey questions are created within a table. The surveys are sent to the stakeholders to collect impact-realted data. 

Stakeholders. Individuals or small businesses that experience the outcomes. On Impact Cloud, we collect data from them, to understand the positive and negative impact that they are experiencing. 

Impact Insights. On Impact Cloud, this is the module to analyze the data and create dashboards. 

Dashboard. On Impact Cloud, a dashboard is a group of charts, text and images that tell your impact story. Dashboards can be updated, duplicated, and shared outside of Impact Cloud. 

Outcome Insights. Section in Impact Insights to analyze data from the Metrics and Results section, meaning summarized data. 

Portfolio Insights. Section in Impact Insights to analyze data from the Project Overview. For example, the distribution of projects by country. 

Project Insights. Section in Impact Insights to analyze data from stakeholder data or raw data.