State and local agencies automate data analysis with software as a service
Years ago, on-premises data analytics solutions required IT staff to create reports for users. Now, with a cloud-based self-service model, users can do it themselves, Shimmin says.
“Organizations want to understand their entire operations,” he says. “To do this, users must be empowered to access data on their own terms in real time, without having to request it from IT.”
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How Los Angeles Implements Modern Data Architecture
Los Angeles County built a data analytics platform in Azure, using an integrated set of Microsoft and Databricks technologies.
Azure Data Factory automatically extracts siled data from six on-premises applications and Google Analytics, and unifies the raw data in Azure Data Lake Storage, says Majida Adnan, acting deputy general manager of the county’s ISD.
Azure Databricks and Data Factory cleanse data by removing duplicate data and ensuring data is formatted the same, making it ready for analysis. Then the county uses Azure Synapse Analytics and Microsoft Power BI to perform the analytics and provide real-time reports, she says.
The entire process of extracting, loading and transforming data is automated. The county also uses Active Directory and Azure Key Vault to authenticate users, ensure sensitive data is secure, and certify data governance compliance, such as allowing only employees with access privileges to view reports,” says Adnan.
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LA County chose to build a cloud solution because it’s scalable, flexible, easy to use, and provides the performance it needs, Zarifian says. “We wanted a tool in place that would allow our executives, board members and HR staff to really cut and dice the data, look at the hiring process and at every step of the process, to identify bottlenecks and make improvements,” she said.
Previously, Johan Julin, senior director of HR talent acquisition, spent weeks manually querying databases and uploading data, then using Excel and IBM SPSS software to produce quarterly reports on performance metrics. hiring for the county board of supervisors.
Now the board, executives, and department heads can run reports on Power BI dashboards themselves and get results in seconds.
“I’m grateful for the automation,” says Julin. “It took time to do it manually.”