Data Administration Demands in the Public Sector
Located in Pennsylvania and presiding over the city of Pittsburgh, the Government of Allegheny County oversees 100 municipalities covering 730 square miles. Its communities have a variety of governmental agencies, each using multiple sources of data. As a result, managing the myriad of information administration requirements for benefits, reporting, and finance has become challenging.
With the motto, “Your County. Your Government.”, Allegheny County aims to be adept at serving its agencies. Vast data administration demands in the public sector create a set of unique challenges to Allegheny County. As a result, the county spends considerable resources in meeting the data needs of its governmental structures and associations.
Allegheny County needed to get the most out of its JD Edwards data to support those who use data in everyday operations. To do so, the county sought data extraction and distribution processes from reporting and business intelligence solutions. The ultimate goal was to solve information administration demands, to yield sound data, and to produce enhanced data dispersion.
Automatic Data Field Amendments
The first step in solving data administration demands was to establish mechanisms that automatically ensure Allegheny data will be harmonious with county associations.
The county focused on its employee insurance provider who requires reports that enumerate information such as employee absences and FMLA leave balances. Initially, Allegheny County could not deliver data in the format required by the insurance provider’s data platform. The challenge for the county was to amend its JDE data to meet the field input needs of the provider.
For example, when a data field contained variable inputs such as ‘F’ or ‘FEMALE’ but required the input to read ‘female’, the entry was not recognized by the insurance provider’s data platform. With no mechanism to automate data field correction, Allegheny County manually adjusted these inputs. The county sought to automatically reformat data fields containing multiple inputs into a single correct input.
Allegheny started using functionalities within Data Access Studio (DAS) by ReportsNow to automate data field amendment processes. DAS enables JDE users to easily create queries, operational reports, and analytics utilizing their JDE data. Using DAS, Allegheny County now produces reports that apply conditional statements for the hundreds of data fields its insurance provider requires. Today, if data is entered as ‘F’, DAS automatically amends the input to ‘female’ prior to report creation and dispersion. The result is programmed data harmony between the county and its provider.
Data Quality Assurance During Reconciliation
Allegheny County further extended its DAS capabilities to identifying data inaccuracies during reconciliation. Reconciliation is an accounting procedure that compares two sets of records to make certain figures are in agreement.
First, the county identifies the desired data field to be audited. Next, DAS is used to locate the two different tables in which the data field resides. Then, both tables are merged into one report where all data fields are multiplied by a factor of -1. Finally, the data fields are added together. If the additions equal a zero numerical value, it indicates that the data field is accurate.
If there are any numerical values other than zero displayed, errors can easily be identified and then adjusted accordingly. With a reconciliation report data check process, Allegheny County now enjoys rapid data quality assurance. Now the county is able to retain the complexity of its reports while ensuring its JDE data is sound.
Streamlined Fund Transfers
Routinely, Allegheny County makes operational funding payments to the county’s mental health administration. The process would take five days for the funds to transfer. Since funding time management is vital for mental health administration, Allegheny piloted a program to transfer funds more rapidly using ACH payments. The challenge to this process was that the mental health administration never knew when the funds would arrive in their bank account and for which invoices.
Using Automator, the county used burst functionalities to identify ACH payments being paid to the administration’s bank. Immediately after the funds were transferred, Automator would automatically send an email to the administration communicating how much is being paid and for exactly which invoices.
This process capped a more rapid funds transfer and simplified bookkeeping processes. The county and the public mental health administration walked away with a newfound communications intermediary that eliminates five days of transmitting payment information.
Resourceful, Efficient Data for the Public Sector
Allegheny County’s proactive journey to utilize its JDE data has empowered various agencies within the public sector to leverage reporting and data distribution in ways that solve administrative demands.
Public entities use ReportsNow solutions to unravel JDE reporting complexities to build streamlined reporting processes for efficient data administration. Explore DAS in a 30-day free trial to uncover how it will modernize your public sector JDE data to create a well-informed public entity.