Using Analytics to Transform your Organization (Tableau and Grant Thornton) for State, County, and City Governments


Grant Thornton LogoToday, I attended a presentation, at the State Capitol, which was hosted by Tableau and Grant Thornton. Grant Thornton is the U.S. member firm of Grant Thornton International Ltd, one of the world’s leading organizations of independent audit, tax and advisory firms.

Round-Table Discussion

Tableau LogoThe notes below are my notes from the round-table discussion today between the following individuals.

NOTE: I have elaborated them a bit to add clarity to the comments being made.

  • JR Sloan, Deputy State CIO;
  • Ben Henderson, Deputy COO for Governor Doug Ducey (State of Arizona);
  • Rich McHattie, Deputy CIO for Maricopa County;
  • Chad Kirkpatrick, Senior Manager, Grant Thornton and former Arizona State CIO (Moderator)

Ben:   How do we, as a State agency, show ROI on what Tableau applications we develop?

  • Improvement in customer experience
  • Reduced costs due to actionable data

JR:      Everyone who works for State government should be a problem solver.

Ben:   Huddleboard – 15 minute meetings every morning. What can we do to win today? This should be at all levels of government.

Have monthly reviews of the KPIs being used. What data are they showing? Are we on track?

Goal Council. Example: Recidivism. How do we make sure people who get out of prison are successful. One example was to get them enrolled in Medicare before they leave prison. Very successful.

Inter-agency collaborative goals. They currently monitor 900 metrics a month for the State. Use a “Bowling Sheet” scorecard (Target vs. Actual).

JR:      Created Government Transformation Office. Have Kizen events. Input to these events are Excel spreadsheets that each department has to complete on a monthly basis.

Line of Sight: Front Line Employees, Division, Director, Governor

Collecting data on citizens. Struggle with the perception of being “Big Brother.” Protecting the rights/privacy of the individual versus servicing the needs of the individual.

Created Business Integration Services Team.

  1. Work with partners.
  2. Understand the data.

Who owns the data? IT is the steward of the data; the business really owns the data.

This group will sit with the business and have them draw on a whiteboard the chart they envision. Does the chart tell us to take an action (being actionable)? If not, it may not be a good metric.

Ben:   Governor Ducey’s Office. Metrics in a scorecard may lead to a punitive culture. However, the Governor feels employees need to “embrace the red.” People feel shame, fear of losing job, stress when their metrics are shown to leadership as being red. Need to remind people that “people make the processes which make performance.” Don’t fire people, fix the process.

Rich:  Get the data, set goals, drill-down to measure performance. People have a tendency to design dashboards so you only see the Green.

Comments From The Audience

ADOT DBA: Encourage the red. Helps them (the DBAs) identify problems with / in the data.

DES Data Leader: Deal with a lot of siloed applications, poor data entry rules. An example is they have one system where the data has more customers then there are people in the State of Arizona.

Unseen costs to cleanse/enhance the data is often not taken into consideration. It is often an unrecognized cost. (NOTE: My favorite comment of the morning).

JR:      Many reports that were previously developed do not help the business. The business will often ask for IT to just give them the data and let them decide what they need to know.

Business often has built processes around these reports. It is often very difficult to change or replace these reports because of this.

Tableau Demos (Grant Thornton)

Workforce Analytics – Do you have the level of resources required to meet evolving workload demand and address changing mission priorities?

Cyber Security Analytics – Is your agency’s cyber risk profile aligned with your business strategy?

NIST SP 800-30 (Risk Severity = (Threat x Likelihood x Impact) / Control Monitoring

Financial Management Analytics – Does your agency’s financial management metrics integrate all relevant data sources to act as one source of truth?

Organizations need:

    • Data Dispersion
    • Data Discovery
    • Self-Service

One agency had an administrative assistance keep key data in an Excel spreadsheet. When she retired, they could not find the spreadsheets, so they had to manually recreate from hard copies.

Remember: Your data can live beyond you!


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