In this case study

Groundwork for dashboard development

WWT partnered with our Federal Government client to address their inability to quickly analyze and visualize their financial budgets and projections. While the financial data was available, few could access it and even fewer could interpret the data's current state. 

The goal? Collect and transform financial data, architect pipelines and create a dashboard which is highly accessible, functional and insightful. 

Two primary workstreams were established to accomplish the goal: 

  1. Data discovery through stakeholder interviews to prioritize and identify key data sources for developing architecture and data ingestion pipelines.
  2. Leverage existing financial projection data stored in Excel and transform that data into a user-friendly dashboard suite which would serve as a short-term solution for the leadership teams.

While the outcomes of workstream 1 would create the foundation for a long-term analytics solution for their financial data, we'll focus on workstream 2 and the short-term improvements we made to our clients' data visualization processes.

Data normalized, ingested, then transformed

Financial projections and budgeting were housed in a singular Excel file, with countless tabs, each containing multiple graphs and countless rows of data. When leadership requested updated budgetary information/insights, the time consuming, arduous task of retrieving, cleaning and displaying this information fell on one person's shoulders. 

To provide leadership with access to this budgetary data in a timely manner, WWT developed a data cube which seamlessly combined data from the multiple Excel tabs, and fed this data into a suite of fresh, relevant Power BI dashboards our team created. WWT designed this dashboard suite to ultimately act as the baseline format for the end solution which was architected in workstream 1. 

Where possible, automation was utilized to normalize the data into a usable state which was then ingested by the data cube. Once in the cube, data was transformed to create new metrics and attributes which would provide the dashboard with the ability to offer deeper insights than previously allowed in the cumbersome Excel tool.

Immediate solution with future strategy 

The client's financial analytics quickly transformed from a burdensome Excel file usable by few, to a robust dashboard suite available to many. The dashboard suite offered multiple landing pages that drilled into granular aspects of the agency while including holistic views, granting executive leadership a 10,000-foot view of their financial projections. Review sessions with stakeholders allowed for further refinement of the visualizations, swapping out existing data/visualization and embedding more customization for end users.

While the data cube was populated by a (not-so-simple) Excel document, it was developed to enable future pipelines to plug-in, enabling future architectures to leverage the Power BI dashboard. When the pipelines are developed from the architectures in workstream 1, a dashboard suite will be ready.

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