Webinar presenters Julie Ward and Joe Alexander answered a number of your questions after their presentation, "How Data Analytics Improve Agency and Facilities Management." Here are a few of their responses.
Audience Question: Is this kind of dashboard analytics possible while using our current jail management systems which I'm assuming is not your system?
Julie Ward: Correct. Joe knows the technical discussion on this, but the answer is absolutely yes. Joe, I'm going to let you talk about how we can work with other jail management systems as well.
Joe Alexander: Absolutely. While those two things, while the Offenders 360 jail management systems and the Power BI kind of analytics layer on top of it can indeed work together in our design too, by no means are they dependent on each other. We work with a number of organizations out there we don't have plans to replace our current legacy application but it also does not provide these analytics we've all been hearing about, we've been talking about. I mentioned earlier why we selected Power BI, not only because it works well in our system but it works well with so many other applications that are out there. It is truly, at the end of the day, it's the agnostic data analytics layer that can be very easily relayed at the top of your current application and render data and smart analytics from it. I encourage you even if you're not looking to replace your current jail management systems, I encourage you to take a look at the application anyway because it will work well with whatever legacy you're currently running on
Audience Question: Is it possible to share some other reports directly to our website and keep other reports confidential?
Joe Alexander: Absolutely, so the all reporting in here is all based of, they are all dependent on security layers within the application. You can choose to share these reports with certain individuals within your organization and not share them with others. You can make some of these reports public if you wish, throw them up on a webpage, a public PC portal for people to access. You have full rights over who can and cannot see the data. Furthermore, if you start talking about a single report, if you got multiple levels, layers of security within your organization, you don't have to create that report four different times for four security level. The application will take into consideration the security rights of the individual and only show the data on that report that that individual is allowed to see. It really maximizes efficiency and reduces ten different of the same data or same report into a single report but taking advantage of security rules within the application.
Audience Question: Would I be able to use this system to meet statutory reporting requirements such as a bed count report that we send to ICE to be reimbursed for inmates that are transferred to Immigrations and Customs Enforcement?
Joe Alexander: The short answer to that is absolutely. We actually do that oftentimes whether that is the example you just talked about there. We've worked with organizations. A very typical one is grant management. It's being able to work within perhaps a victim services group who is more keen to submit reporting to federal state or local levels because they are applying for grants that are tied with those reports. Those reports, once created, can be run automatically throughout whatever the time frame is, most of those reports are annual. Absolutely, that’s a very common result and reason these reports are created in the first place. Depending on what or who you are sending it to and how they want to receive them, they can be sent electronically, they can be sent hard copy. There's all sort of different output components for that but yeah that is definitely one of the reasons why this flexible reporting is such an advantage.
Audience Question: As a non-technical user, how much training we're going to need to start creating reports for the dashboard?
Joe Alexander: I mentioned this earlier in my call. I'm not a DBA guys. I don't know how to write code in any way. All of the reporting the dashboard, the Power BI stuff is all stuff that I don't. Everything that you saw today is something that I put together. So, it's important to understand that limited training versus probably what you are all thinking of. You guys would have the capability to create these reports. So, I would tell you how with anything new it's not necessary to jump in and I'm now creating a 20-page report with all this information. With a really limited amount of training and it's a part of the process we go through, these guys will never deploy something or work in the organization and just let them go and have fun we always correct them in the training for that. The amount of the database knowledge you need starts to be less and less important as you are able to create these things on a fly.
Julie Ward: I would just say that it's truly designed for the point and click user. It's truly meant for simplistic and quick access to the data.
Audience Question: They want to ask if you can talk about scenarios wherein the agencies used reporting to impact real-time operations.
Joe Alexander: Yeah, there's a number of them that we can utilize. We've been in scenarios before where I mentioned earlier the staffing issue where the institutions haven't been staffed correctly from a booking standpoint because they weren't expecting an overload. Every year we know at the same time maybe they're going to get an increase. They weren't prepared for the influx of people. Where does that leave you? That leads to inefficiency in operations, that leads to people in the holding cell a whole lot longer than they're supposed to be and ultimately being released because we can't get through the booking process. That's a very typical one. Another one that I'll just bring up as well is a similar one to a few years ago is working with the victim services group that I mentioned earlier is the ability to actually put a system in place will proactively notify us of things that are pertaining to the victims that we're managing. When are court dates? When are victims notified of certain pieces of information? I think that type of thing allows us to use this in a more efficient manner because what it ultimately allows us to do? It allows us to manage by exception. It allows us to be confident and look for the things that are wrong and be notified of the things that are wrong so we that we can correct them. There are hundreds of different operations things that we'd be happy to give a few more specifics to anyone of you at any point if you have a specific scenario in mind.