Sunsetting the Metrics Software Pilot

FMC piloted a subscription software (Farmers Market Metrics) from 2016-2022 that was designed specifically for market operators to collect and store data to then use for reporting via FMC’s widget and summary templates. That tool required an annual subscription of 252.00 along with an FMC membership of 40.00. Over those years, hundreds of markets used the software, along with dozens of network leaders working with markets on a specific data collection need. The lessons learned from designing and managing a data tool were many, and allowed FMC to understand all sides of the evaluation process for markets. Throughout the process, FMC continued to search for a data partner to ultimately take over the site while sharing what we learned with newer software developers also building software for market operators.

In September of 2022, the staff and board of FMC made the decision to begin sunsetting the subscription software immediately, with no new users allowed to be added. Current users will be able to use the subscription software for as long as it remains viable, which is at least until the end of 2023.

The main reasons for this decision at this stage were:

a) the heavy use of other software database programs currently available to markets. FMC had always planned on this software as a short term project and had hoped other software companies would have enough functionality to do both database and internal and external reporting and allow FMC to cease its own pilot. We think that phase is ready to begin.
b) the expanded requests for FMC to operationalize more metrics covering more market day and system level impacts of market, and the need for more in-depth program level analysis on programs such as FMNP, SNAP, and education programs.

How it will work:

Current users will be able to download their data in spreadsheet form and in reporting form until December of 2023.

Past users (those without a current subscription but had been paid subscribers) can request a download of their past data from FMC via a spreadsheet sent via email until April 30, 2023. 

The Guide site (farmersmarketmetrics.guide) will remain available to all market operators, with new resources on metrics style evaluation added regularly and opportunities to learn about software that will serve both purposes of database management and reporting. 

The entire process of developing software has been extremely rewarding. We sincerely thank all of our market accountholders and partners for sharing the journey of the Metrics pilot over the last 6 years and look forward to offering more focused assistance through templates and resource development for markets and their software partners.  

Once the Metrics software is no longer in use in 2024, next steps for FMC include: 

Collaboration with markets and market partners on the design of more individual metric widgets and reports that tell the complete story of market organizations’ growth and impacts;

Supporting markets need for grantee program reporting tools on a case by case basis;

Customized data visualization contracted support to individual markets and to project partners; 

Multi-year licensing agreements with software partners to use FMC designed reporting resources with their users;

Ensuring the reporting functionality in all 3rd party software programs allows for aggregation of data (i.e. Excel downloads) while also advocating for data ownership by users;

To serve as a primary data aggregator analyst partner for market and network data;

To encourage software programs to include plug-ins for pushing data to social media as tested successfully by FMC in Metrics.

Please contact FMC at metrics@farmersmarketcoalition.org with any questions on the sunsetting of the software or with ideas for potential partnerships to develop metrics style functionality in your software platform.