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Case Study

Making Faster and Better Decisions with Agile Business Intelligence

To maximize effectiveness, organizations have to transform their data, not just into information, but into actionable intelligence.


Health and Human Services Department’s Office of Inspector General (HHS OIG)




Federal Health and Civilian


Organizational Transformation

The Health and Human Services Department’s Office of Inspector General (HHS OIG) receives frequent information requests from Congress regarding government-wide priorities and this critical data is used to support legislative and policy-making processes. HHS OIG needed to move beyond fulfilling these requests through the labor-intensive process of extracting piecemeal from legacy systems and manually assembling responses. Business Intelligence and the use of an Enterprise Dashboard allows an integrated and standardized view of this same critical data and provides the ability to drill into details for requests enabling faster and more comprehensive responses.

Transforming the Way HHS-OIG Uses Data to Drive Decisions

Excella wanted to empower the Office of Inspector General (OIG) to make faster, more confident data-driven decisions in their fight against fraud, waste, and abuse in the Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) programs through an Enterprise Dashboard. By integrating data from four key internal operational systems that track work progress, historical activity, and outcomes of OIG’s initiatives, the dashboard presents a holistic summary of OIG work status, projects, and monetary recoveries and allows HHS OIG operatives to drill down into specific layers of additional detail on demand. The user-friendly interface removes the need to spend days manually integrating disparate data sources and provides the entire organization with fast, authoritative data to inform decisions.

With the help of Excella, HHS OIG surfaced the most important data to visualize and created advanced business intelligence (BI) capabilities, using:

Disciplined Experimentation

Crafted hypotheses about potential technologies and data structures, explored alternatives, and evaluated results to identify the best choices and design decisions.

Rapid Prototyping

Worked closely with users through interviews to iteratively produce alternative formats and different visualizations to determine how to most effectively give them the intelligence they need.

Data Governance

Created standards for data elements across diverse source systems to enhance the sharing of information, accelerate the generation of intelligence, and reduce potential confusion.

Scrum Framework

Used the regular cadence of Scrum events to plan work, get feedback on progress from key stakeholders, and iteratively improve the process.

Hybrid Cloud Infrastructure

Created a flexible, scalable technical environment that removes performance constraints of legacy platforms and architected the
infrastructure to be fully automated and recoverable in support of continuous integration and deployment.

Change Management

Determined user and key stakeholder needs to design custom outreach and engagement activities, strategic communications, demos, and open houses in support of clear and consistent communication, behavior change, and sustainable adoption.

Before the Enterprise Dashboard and Hybrid-Cloud Infrastructure:

data stacks deny

Data was hard to access and gather from many disparate legacy systems, making it difficult to give detailed responses to requests.

Information requests from Congress traditionally took multiple days impeding their ability to make critical decisions efficiently based on comprehensive data.

Computing and processing power was limited due to utilizing an expensive, limited capacity, on-premesis data center. Performance constraints of legacy platforms restricted OIG from continuous integration and deployment.

With an Enterprise Dashboard and Scalable Hybrid-Cloud Infrastructure:

OIG operational data is now visualized, enabling any employee to access and specify detailed responses to requests.

The Congress receives responses to data inquiries within the same day, helping HHS OIG be more effective in combating fraud,  waste, and abuse backed up by data, resulting in more prosecution and recovery of American tax dollars.

The Hybrid-Cloud Infrastructure averages sub-second response time even with over 500 simultaneous users and creates a solid  foundation to support more advanced data analytic capabilities and manage unstructured data in the future.

The Results of Creating an Enterprise Dashboard with Advanced BI Capabilities

By approaching the creation of an Enterprise dashboard with the data expertise of Excella, HHS OIG can now focus on analyzing the resources expended to deliver projects,  decreasing their response time to inquiries, and strengthening internal collaboration through visibility and transparency. The Enterprise Dashboard provides the organization with   comprehensive view of work in progress, critical data points, and organizational insights that inform strategic planning and improve the ability to realize mission critical goals.


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