What Happens When There Isn’t Enough Time and Money for DevOps Transformation?

As the DevOps movement picks up steam, many organizations are starting to embrace it and start their own the DevOps transformation.  Like any organizational change, a shift to DevOps requires resources, and IT leaders and program managers are often asked to justify their budgets and priorities.


It often begs the question, “Is this really worth it?”


We think it is. In his blog “IT’s A Nice Life,” Excella Co-founder Jeff Gallimore discusses three answers to the question “What happens if I don’t devote enough and money to our DevOps transformation?


Click here to read the entire article.


What Does the TechFAR Handbook Mean for Contractors Working with the Government?

The TechFAR Handbook is produced by the U.S. Digital Services, a part of the Executive Branch, and supports the Digital Services Playbook. The Digital Service Playbook defines best practices for delivering digital solutions in the Federal government, including the need for revision to the procurement process to get better services in the government.

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Top Tips to Improve Your Business Intelligence User Adoption

Are you running into roadblocks with business intelligence (BI) user adoption in your organization? Does your company have BI tools, but your employees don’t know how to make the most of them?


Last week, mrc’s Cup of Joe Blog published “7 Practical Ways to Improve BI User Adoption,” highlighting top tips from BI experts around the country on how address this issue. Excella Business Intelligence Lead Sara Handel weighed in, noting: “Business users may understand one segment of the data their company captures….However, BI tools often expand the data users can access beyond their realm of understanding. This can lead to confusion when report results differ from what a user expects which in turn stops them from adopting the BI tool.”


Click here to read the full article.


How do you encourage BI User Adoption at your organization?  Tell us here!

Rise of the Machines? Four Considerations for the Machine Learning Hopeful

computer brainThe machine learning sub-discipline of study in Artificial Intelligence has benefited from burgeoning attention in the past few decades. Machine learning has been applied in recent years to a gamut of conceivable problem spaces. Some applications have pervaded cultural awareness in obvious ways, such as self-driving cars, facial recognition, targeted advertising, and product recommendations.



For those of us working in the technology industry, there are now tools and precedents for using machine learning to solve highly complex and important industry challenges like understanding customer sentiments, classifying data to better understand and use it, and personalizing search experiences. Continue reading

Mocking Strategies and Frameworks for Python

Dan at Django


On February 10th, Excella’s Dan Davis presented “Mocking Strategies and Frameworks for Python” at Django-District meetup.


Check out this post on the Tech Talk DC blog to view a video of the presentation and the slides.


Interested in mocking strategies and frameworks for Python?  Tell us more here!

Best IT Events for March

Are you looking for new and interesting ways to escape the snow and sleet? Check out this round up of IT events in the DC area this month. Hope to see you there!



User Experience Professionals Association – DC Chapter (UXPA DC)

The Evolution of Design Thinking at Capital One

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

6 PM – 8 PM

Arlington, VA

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GoodGovUX: Inspiring the Age of Civic Design Enlightenment

I’m not alone in saying, last week’s sold-out GoodGovUX kick off event was a successful first step toward realizing the mission of: “Driv[ing] the adoption of a common set of UX best practices within the government agency and government contracting communities.”

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Top 5 Tips for Getting the Most Out of Your Tableau Dashboard

Data Vector


When designing a dashboard in any business intelligence tool, performance is often the last requirement addressed. Poor performing reports with long load time are hard to use and can result in low adoption by users. It requires much less time and effort to address performance as part of dashboard design, rather than apply performance improvement standards in Production.



So you are getting ready to apply best practices to speed up the performance of your Tableau Dashboards and you’re looking to know which best practices will improve your performance the most. We have chosen to highlight how to apply these best practices in Tableau, but these standards should be applied across all business intelligence tools. There are many best practices to consider when designing a dashboard, but we will highlight the top 5 for best performance results:

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GoodGovUX: Why Government Employees Should Care about UX

User Experience



User experience (UX) is not just a passing trend. Good UX is essential for good government. That’s the topic of the GoodGovUX kickoff event next week on February 24 at the Artisphere in Arlington. The event is aimed at improving how government and contractors build digital experiences through greater focus on UX.



So what is UX? Usability.gov defines UX as “the quality of the user’s interaction with and perceptions of your product and any related services.” Ensuring a good UX requires a deep understanding of your users, including their needs, values, abilities and limitations.



So why is UX so important for federal employees and the communities they serve? Here are three reasons:

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So You Want To Be a PMP?

We’ve all seen those three letters at the end of someone’s email signature. “PMP”. But what do they mean? No, it’s not some text slang that only hipsters know. PMP is officially known as The Project Management Institute’s (PMI) most widely recognized certification; the Project Management Professional. Critical in Federal project management, the PMP helps make you a more marketable (and promotable!) employee and provides you with a toolkit and resources for the critical components of project management.


Attaining your PMP is no small task! You aren’t a kid anymore, staying up late cramming for your next algebra exam. If you’re anything like me, you have been putting the PMP off – listing as a goal for “next year” over and over again. Being intimidated by the level of work is understandable. But believe it or not – you are more ready than you think. Here are a few tips for achieving that goal.

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