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Embracing the future: SSWAA's innovative use of Generative AI in our strategic Planning

In our ongoing commitment to be at the forefront of school social work practice, the School Social Work Association of America (SSWAA) has begun an exciting journey in strategic planning, utilizing cutting-edge technology—Generative Artificial Intelligence (AI). As we embark on this path, we are mindful of ethical considerations and committed to ensuring privacy and promoting transparency. This blog aims to share our innovative approach and the steps we are taking to integrate AI responsibly into our strategic processes.

What is Generative AI?

Generative AI refers to advanced algorithms capable of creating content. It's a form of artificial intelligence that can generate new content after learning from existing data. In organizational contexts, Generative AI can assist in various tasks, such as data analysis, generating reports, and refining strategic questions, thus aiding in comprehensive and insightful strategic planning. During this process, the SSWAA Strategic Planning Committee team has used this AI technology with Chat GPT4. This initiative is led by North Eastern Representative Board Member Dr. Marina Badillo-Diaz.

Ethical Considerations and Transparency

In utilizing AI, we are acutely aware of the ethical considerations, especially concerning privacy and data security. To address these, we have taken robust measures such as anonymizing all personal information and stripping any identifying data from the inputs used in our AI systems. Moreover, we are committed to transparency by openly discussing our use of AI and how it influences our processes. This blog is part of that effort, aiming to keep our members informed and involved in every step we take.

How the SSWAA Strategic Planning Committee is Utilizing Generative AI

At SSWAA, we have integrated Generative AI to enhance our strategic planning in several impactful ways:

Data Analysis and SWOT Recommendations: AI was instrumental in analyzing data from our survey to conduct a SWOT Analysis (a strategic planning process used to identify and understand the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats related to an organization). ChatGPT was able to analyze this survey data and make recommendations for our strategic planning. The ChatGPT prompt for this task was:

“You are an expert in data analysis. I am conducting a SWOT Analysis with data I collected from organization members and nonmembers. I want to make a SWOT analysis report. I am first going to upload the data I collected via Excel sheet. Can you conduct a SWOT Analysis from each of the columns? Identify common themes, and descriptive statistics, and make recommendations for our organization”

Refining Focus Group Questions: We have developed more precise and targeted questions for our focus groups using AI. This ensures that we gather more meaningful and actionable insights from our stakeholders. Here is the ChatGPT prompt we used:

“You are a qualitative research expert. I am going to insert our focus group questions [interted questions here] for our strategic planning focus groups. Can you re-write and enhance these questions"

Refining our Strategic Planning Goals & Objectives: With the insights gained, Generative AI has helped us refine our strategic goals to better align with the needs of our members and the communities they serve. We used AI to draft and revise goal statements, ensuring they are clear and actionable. Here are the ChatGPT prompts we used:

“You are a strategic planning expert. I am going to insert the list of our strategic goals. Can you reduce, combine, and refine the objectives [inserted objectives here] for our strategic planning goals?"

“Can you improve and rewrite this strategic planning goal objective [insert the goal and objective here]?”

Writing Blogs: In addition to strategic planning, Generative AI has also transformed how we communicate our efforts and updates to our members through blogging. Utilizing AI in blog writing streamlines the content creation process and ensures that the information is relevant, engaging, and timely. Here is the chat GPT prompt we used to create this blog:

“I am currently a board member and we are embarking on Strategic Planning for our organization. I would like to write a blog for our members about our use of Generative AI and how we are using it in innovative ways to support our strategic planning. Review ethical considerations and how we mitigated those ethical concerns of privacy by removing any names or identifying data and we are promoting transparency with this blog. Discuss in the blog what is AI and how it can help with organizations' strategic planning, and review the ways we have used it for refining focus group questions, refinding our strategic planning goals & objectives, we used it to write blogs and our survey data SWOT analysis. End the blog by discussing how we will continue to be on the cutting edge while using this technology to support strategic planning.”

Looking Forward

As we continue to navigate the potential of Generative AI, SSWAA remains dedicated to exploring innovative ways to enhance our strategic planning and service delivery. By leveraging this technology, we are not only streamlining our operations but also setting a benchmark for the integration of AI in the field of social work.

Our journey with AI is just beginning, and we are excited about its possibilities for improving our practices and better supporting our members. SSWAA is proud to be on the cutting edge of technology, and we look forward to sharing our ongoing learnings and successes with you.

The content in this blog was created with the assistance of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and reviewed by the SSWAA Planning Committee Members Dr. Marina Badillo-Diaz, Dr. Krystal Folk-Nagua, and Dr. Michelle Alvarez to ensure accuracy, relevance, and integrity. Expertise and insightful oversight from the committee have been incorporated to ensure the content in this guide meets the standards of professional social work practice.

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