Sistema Biobolsa

Research Activities

Sistema Biobolsa is currently entering new markets including Nicaragua, Colombia, and Kenya. Sistema Biobolsa uses TaroWorks and Salesforce to collect and store data about each customer, which informs the sales, installation and optimization processes and enables impact measurement. We performed an analysis of the Salesforce database to determine where data was missing and why. We then used the insights from this analysis to make recommendations for updating surveys used in diagnostics. Lastly, we tested the updated surveys in five key communities, allowing us to recover missing data. We conducted 10 interviews with employees to order to understand the training, typical use, common problems, and overall satisfaction with existing data collection tools.

Key Findings:

1. Integrated but Vulnerable. Sistema Biobolsa has an integrated system that allows multiple needs to be met by each survey; however, this means any issues or omissions within this system will have ripple effects throughout the value chain.

2. Training and Manuals. Employees expressed dissatisfaction with some aspects of the Salesforce and TaroWorks training they received. In general, employees do not reference user manuals, because they did not have a copy, did not find it user-friendly, or preferred to ask someone for help.

3. Survey Format and Information Quality. Since TaroWorks allows for “required” questions that cannot be skipped and surveys that can be adapted to include only questions relevant to each customer, surveys were more complete when TaroWorks was used as opposed to a paper format.

4. Mexico vs. Nicaragua. Common units of measurement, credit practices, energy usage, and costs varied between Mexico and Nicaragua. Because the surveys and policies were developed at the Mexican headquarters, some questions and policies needed to be adapted to better suit the Nicaraguan context, and future markets.




Social Enterprise:

Sistema Biobolsa


Katelyn Diggs

Environmental Science

Julieta Perales

Psychology and Spanish

Faculty Research Mentors:

Dr. Ariel Schindewolf, Spanish


Data Collection Process Report. A report that compiles findings from the database analysis, interviews, and observations of Sistema Biobolsa’s data collection process. The report includes recommendations for efficient and accurate collection of data, which will be crucial to keep this process running smoothly as Sistema Biobolsa continues to scale.

Impact Dashboard. This illustrates Sistema’s impact on economic empowerment, waste treatment, food security, health, energy independence, and environmental impact and may be used for management reporting.

Manuals. Updated and user-friendly English and Spanish versions of Salesforce, TaroWorks, Credit, SMS, and Commissions manuals. These manuals will help to keep operations consistent between Sistema’s different offices and to standardize the methods of data collection.