Ananda Roberts' given name, the Sanskrit term for "bliss," fits her: The 47-year-old entrepreneur gets real joy from knowing her software products are having a positive impact in government, educational and nonprofit accounts--from the U.S. Army, where they help in tracking the training and career paths of soldiers, to Jefferson County Public Schools in Kentucky, where they track after-hours programs.
In college, while raising funds for charitable projects, Roberts realized many events were planned with little regard to what worked--or didn't--in the past. "People gave you money and never asked what was being done with it," says Roberts. "But today, accountability is a big factor." Providing feedback is the basis for her life's work at nFocus Software.
Roberts' 35-person, multimillion-dollar Phoenix business is perhaps best known for its KidTrax Membership Management System, which allows publicly funded programs and clients like the Boys and Girls Clubs of America to track attendance and other basic demographics with electronic ID cards and scanners. More important, the software gives them feedback on the effectiveness of their programs.