Analytica Consulting has been working with the California Department of Toxic Substances (DTSC) since June 2022 on a Data Empowerment Program (DEP) aimed at helping the department effectively utilize data to make informed decisions and drive positive outcomes. We’re proud to announce that this ongoing effort was recognized at the California Government Innovation Summit last month, and the project was awarded the Best of California Award for Innovative Use of Data Analytics!
DTSC is responsible for regulating hazardous waste, managing corrective action, and overseeing the cleanup of contaminated sites throughout California. Given the far reach of their efforts, the Department was facing challenges effectively managing vast amounts of data, and lacked in key areas including data quality, data governance, and data integration. The absence of proper data management processes made it difficult to measure the Department’s performance and communicate this information to the public. Analytica Consulting was brought on to help DTSC maximize the use of their data so that they could transparently and effectively demonstrate their efforts to stakeholders and the public alike.
Our team analyzed their current state of data operations and processess, and developed a comprehensive data management and governance strategy that included the implementation of new frameworks, technologies, and tools. This long-term effort aims to help the Department use data as a tool to increase transparency, streamline operations, and drive change.
One of the key deliverables Analytica Consulting assisted with was the development of a Strategic Plan Dashboard Website, which showcases goal-centric dashboards for public audiences. The site includes more than 30 Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), which provided insights into the Department’s operations and allowed the public to track the Department’s progress on key goals and objectives. Analytica Consulting designed this site to be user-friendly, intuitive, and accessible to all stakeholders, including the community DTSC serves. Additionally, Analytica worked with DTSC to develop ADA compliant and mobile versions to ensure accessibility to all audiences.
Analytica Consulting is continuing to work with DTSC programs behind the scenes to optimize their usage of data and develop best practices for continued success. The initial Strategic Plan Dashboard Website was built by extracting data from each program and building meaningful visualizations in Tableau and PowerBI for public display. Analytica is currently working to automate this process using tools such as Snowflake, Azure Purview, and other cloud-based technologies to securely share and transmit updated data. The end goal of this exercise is to streamline operations, develop a cohesive data management plan, and empower DTSC employees to use data as an effective tool to drive impactful decisions.
The work that Analytica Consulting has done to streamline operations and develop a long-term data management plan will have far reaching impacts. Aside from ensuring the integrity of the Department’s data, automation efforts will reduce the manual inputs needed to derive meaningful insights from metrics. This time savings will allow Department employees to better focus their efforts on driving achievable outcomes. The end goal is to transform how each person in the Department interacts with data, empowering employees through knowledge and data literacy.
The Data Empowerment Program is an ongoing collaboration of DTSC’s Executive Leadership Team, key members of the Office of Environmental Information Management, Department Program Leads, and Analytica Consulting staff members. DTSC’s decision to enhance their data management and governance capabilities is a testament to their commitment to providing better service to the people of California. We hope that this project serves as an example to other government agencies and companies that recognize the importance of effective data management and governance.