Alleviating Inefficient Business Processes

The Client

Contract services division responsible for tracking procurement contracts in a transportation government agency

The Problem

Barriers to data-driven decision-making manifested in antiquated processes for data management and legacy reporting mechanisms. Disparate data conveyed through multiple documents created duplication of work and a decentralized view of the organization. These inefficient processes made it hard for analysts to create and maintain content for reporting and led to decision makers having the wrong or outdated information.

The Solution

Utilizing a centralized data management solution that includes shared interactive visualizations is one step towards alleviating some of these inefficiencies.

Loblolly has proven experience in establishing an analytics platform that alleviates the barriers to having a data-driven culture in the organization. A good example is a recent Loblolly engagement where we created a Tableau dashboard for a client to replace static spreadsheet reporting. After the initial assessment, Loblolly identified multiple inefficiencies in data collection, as well as report generation and dissemination. Data analysts had to query a database every time they had a question to be answered, which occurred several times a day across multiple analysts. Managers spent hours creating monthly reports based on the individual queries made by each of the analysts. There was a clear opportunity to implement strategies to improve efficiency and free up the most important of resources: time.

The Team

Loblolly quickly assigned a certified Tableau staff consultant with deep experience creating insightful dashboard content that allows users to drill down into the data, with a keen eye for identifying opportunities to create efficient processes within programs and business units.

The Results

Instead of utilizing separate copies of an Access database to answer analyst queries, Loblolly recommended a centralized database connection published to Tableau Server.  Interactive visualizations were built from this data connection in Tableau Desktop to create dashboards that individual analysts could use to answer their questions and quickly drill down into the data as needed. Information persisted in one location on Tableau Server, as opposed to multiple documents housed on a shared drive or dispersed via email. Analysts could now connect to one source of truth and even create their own visualizations to share with colleagues on the Server.

Managers can now focus on analyzing the data using the staff-created Tableau dashboard rather than mundane monthly reporting. Instead of a PDF with multiple pages, tables, and graphs, managers can now provide executives with an interactive tool that includes the ability to drill down into the data so that they can make informed data-driven decisions.

What's Next

Loblolly enabled the contract services division with an interactive dashboard they can utilize post engagement to answer business questions in seconds rather than minutes or hours. This enablement project provided the client with best practices and leave-behind training material to provide support and ensure success with future dashboard projects.