Project Description

Executive Summary

The State of Oregon Department of Human Services needed an enterprise application to manage a child’s path through the foster care system. This would create new possibilities for measuring and tracking the performance of the organization.

The Department of Human Services (DHS) is Oregon’s principal agency for helping Oregonians achieve well-being and independence through opportunities that protect, empower, respect choice and preserve dignity, especially for those who are least able to help themselves.

DHS started a data warehouse; however, after eight months of development, it stalled. Datalere came in, partnered closely with DHS and, within a short period of time, produced their first working report. Datalere’s iterative approach produced a deliverable every month. After 18 months of regularly delivering new functionality, Datalere had introduced a successful and well-rounded data model, delivering hundreds of documented measures via reports, providing additional ad hoc development and creating a stable, scalable data warehouse.

Challenges

Oregon’s DHS managed their services on legacy system. They utilized a transactional database for reporting, which was difficult to understand and featured an inefficient data model. Report queries were laborious to code and could take hours to execute. Key performance indicators such as the frequency of repeat abuse, case worker effectiveness measures and child movement calculations, were difficult to gather.

To improve their services and reliably track performance, DHS needed timely access to data and long-term scalability. They wanted a trusted partner to provide expert guidance and one that could also help them improve efficiency and correct information.

How Datalere Helped

Datalere’s solution was to create a dimensional model data warehouse for the measures that DHS needed to track. This model required extensive data transformation in the ETL process but provided drag-and-drop capabilities for known measures and straightforward query capabilities for data analysis.

This project reduced, and in some cases, eliminated much of this additional effort and allowed for complex measures to be produced quickly and accurately by DHS’s reporting and data analysis personnel.

Proven Results

By leveraging Datalere, DHS significantly improved visibility into the quality of its services. Through data integration and the introduction of an easy-to-understand data model, key performance indicators that were previously difficult to gather were made readily available to DHS personnel.
Datalere met all of DHS’s needs and challenges:

  • Fast, Efficient Data Access – Reports that once took hours now take minutes to run, allowing data to inform decision-making and allowing DHS employees to focus their attention on other business needs.
  • Streamlined Metrics and Reporting – The data warehouse Datalere created allows employees, despite technical prowess, to easily generate reports. Previously, defining a “person” in DHS’s system required 52 table joins. In the data warehouse, the same information is a single table. All metrics are now standardized, ensuring the same information is pulled each and every time.
  • Expandability and Scalability – Datalere’s data warehouse can easily integrate new data and systems in the future, allowing the state of Oregon to make strategic technical decisions to continue to grow DHS’s mission.

With fast and accurate access to vital performance data, Oregon’s DHS can confidently improve its services and execute on its mission to help Oregonians achieve well-being and independence.

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