This is a joint post by ProLink Solutions and AWS. ProLink Solutions builds software solutions for emergency fund deployment to help state agencies distribute funds to homeowners in need. Over the past 20 years, ProLink Solutions has developed software for the affordable housing industry, designed to make the experience less complicated and easy to report on.

The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted homeowners across the United States who were unable to pay their mortgages, resulting in delinquencies, defaults, and foreclosures. The federal government acted quickly by establishing the Homeowner Assistance Fund (HAF) under the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, granting nearly $10 billion to states to distribute to homeowners experiencing COVID-related financial hardships.

Distributing these funds quickly and efficiently required states to rapidly deploy new programs, workflows, and reporting. ProLink Solutions rose to the occasion with a new software as a service (SaaS) solution called ProLink+. Consisting of two parts—a homeowner portal that makes the funding application process easy for homeowners, and a back-office system to help state agencies review and approve funding applications—ProLink+ is a turnkey solution for state agencies looking to distribute their HAF dollars fast. For state agencies responsible for HAF programs, data reporting is key because it reinforces the organizational mission of the agency and helps shape public perception of how the program is progressing. Due to the emergency nature of the funding program, state agencies are continually in the public eye, and therefore access to real-time reporting is a must. As a result, ProLink uses Amazon QuickSight as their business intelligence (BI) solution to create and embed dashboards into the ProLink+ solution.

In this post, we share how ProLink+ uses QuickSight to enhance states’ capabilities to analyze and assess their fund deployment status.

Building the solution with AWS

Data-driven decision-making is critical in any industry or business today, and the affordable housing industry is no exception. As a primary technology player in the affordable housing industry for over two decades, ProLink Solutions supports state housing finance agencies by providing comprehensive suite of software products. ProLink has been an AWS customer since 2012, utilizing AWS services to design and build their in-house software development to maximize agility, scale, functionality, and speed to market of their solutions.

The ProLink+ SaaS solution is built using multiple AWS resources, including but not limited to Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2), Elastic Load Balancing, Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3), Amazon Relational Database Service (Amazon RDS), AWS Lambda, and Amazon Cognito. It also utilizes Amazon CloudFront for a secure and high-performance content delivery system to the end-user.

QuickSight inherent integrations with their AWS resources and microservices make it a logical choice for ProLink. In addition, QuickSight allowsProLink to deliver dashboard functionality efficiently and securely without incurring significant costs. Due to the intuitive design of QuickSight, ProLink business analysts are able to build rich, informative dashboards without writing any code or engineering input, thereby shortening the time to client delivery and increasing the efficiency of the decision-making process. With its simple setup and ability to easily create embedded dashboards and visualization tools, QuickSight is yet another flexible and powerful tool that ProLink Solutions uses to deliver high-quality products and services to the market.

Intuitive and effective data visualization is key

The integration of QuickSight into ProLink+ offers a unique opportunity to create a seamless embedded solution for users. For example, the reporting integration isn’t a separate redirect to a different system. The solution exists in the main user interface with visualizations directly associated to the unique activities. Relevant data can be displayed without adding unnecessary complexity to the solution. This experience adds additional value by reducing the learning curve for new customers.

State agencies use QuickSight’s embedded dashboard capabilities in ProLink+ for internal analytical purposes, as well as for real-time reporting to the public. The agencies are proactively thinking about what information needs to be made available to the public and how to best present it. These are big decisions that impact how the public sees the work of the government.

The Percent of Funds Disbursed chart in the following screenshot illustrates how much of the allocation the agency received from the US Department of the Treasury has been disbursed to homeowners in the state.

Blazing a trail for more easily accessible funding

Federal funding programs have traditionally faced challenges with distribution to citizens in need. ProLink Solutions seeks to provide an easy-to-adopt, easy-to-use, and repeatable solution for governments, powered by modern technology. ProLink+ simplifies the process of distributing the funds to the public through an intuitive interface. The dashboard capabilities of QuickSight are an asset to both ProLink Solutions as a solutions provider and state government agencies as end-users. Intuitive, effective data reporting and visualization provides critical insights that help governments communicate their work on behalf of the public, while continuing to improve delivery of their services.

“State agencies across the board are looking for visual reporting tools to tell their stories more effectively. I’m glad QuickSight was readily available to us and we were able to quickly develop a dashboard in our ProLink+ deployment.” Shawn McKenna, CEO ProLink Solutions

Learn more about how ProLink Solutions is helping states distribute housing assistance quickly to those in need.

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About the Authors

Ryan Kim is the Director of Product Marketing at ProLink Solutions. Ryan leads industry partnerships/initiatives and positioning of all ProLink Solutions’s technology products that serve the affordable housing industry.

Scott Kirn is the Chief Information Officer at ProLink Solutions. Scott leads the Information Technology group at ProLink Solutions and drives all aspects of product development and delivery.

Walter McCain II is a Solutions Architect at Amazon Web Services. Walter is a Solutions Architect for Amazon Web Services, helping customers build operational best practices, application products, and technical solutions in the AWS Cloud. Walter is involved in evangelizing AWS Cloud computing architectures and development for various technologies such as serverless, media entertainment, migration strategies, and security, to name a few.