Proper analysis of your organization’s output, resources, and performance is critical when managing an efficient agency or business unit. Discovery Informatics, WBB’s suite of decision support and business discovery solutions, enables organizations to transform a sea of data into actionable intelligence.
Discovery Informatics (DI) uses a Lean start up approach to implement an evidence-based decision making process that enables your organization to rapidly achieve a cross functional advanced analytic capability. WBB works closely with our clients to align the data collection to the strategic value drivers (make big data small) and collect the best available evidence, then using this evidence to extract valuable knowledge and sharing analytics in a way that allows all users to act on those insights.
Decision makers need access to the wealth of data beyond their own data silos to enable them to:
1. Gain New Insights. Insight means connecting and integrating data across federated data sources. Effective project execution is the result of timely and effective decision making and resource allocation. Doing this requires knowledge. If the data to generate the knowledge exists within the organization, but is not properly processed or readily available to the decision makers and analysts, then the data is not effectively contributing to improved execution.
2. Turn Those Insights Into Effective Decision Making. The challenge for decision makers is to maintain performance with fewer resources, while continuing to deliver on mission goals and objectives. This requires innovative ways to allow analysts to work smarter using leading technology to provide near real-time analysis.
3. Have The Ability To Make Evidence-based Decisions Quickly. Agencies and offices are overwhelmed with financial, human resources, schedule, and performance data. Spreadsheet analysis and decision models are not scalable, they are time-consuming to update, and require significant skill to analyze. Analysts spend more time overcoming the data than actually asking and answering questions about it. Furthermore, the requirement for manual input and integration leads to errors that can result in devastating consequences to the project. Analysts and managers need rapid access to quality information to make timely and informed decisions based on accurate and integrated data, as opposed to spending an inordinate amount of time trying to simply uncover the data.
Drowning in Data while Starving for Knowledge
The “Information Age” and the resulting generation of data has outpaced the ability of program and business portfolio managers to turn data into knowledge. Meanwhile, facing decreasing resources, budegtary uncertainty, and intrusive oversight, managers find themselves drowning in data and starving for knowledge.
Managers are expected to meet compliance standards, maintain accountability to customers or supervisors, and respond to an increasing number of data calls. We have found that many of our clients lack the agile data integration, vizualization, and discovery tools needed to make rapid but truly informed decisions.
WBB’s Approach: Evidence-based Decision Making (EbDM)
WBB has leveraged over 30 years of program management, business analysis, data analytics, modeling and simulation, and decision management expertise to develop a Discovery Informatics solution. WBB employs a scientific, evidence-based decision making (EbDM) framework, leverages a powerful business discovery platform, and is implemented using a lean start-up approach to provide pervasive advanced analytical capabilities.
WBB’s EbDM is outlined in a practical five-step process:
1) Framing the objective: Defining the goal and information needs. In order to find critical insights from a wealth of data, we must start with the end in mind. WBB works closely with our clients to clearly articulate the objectives of the analysis and the resulting decisions that are required.
2) Finding the evidence: Collecting and integrating the data. WBB uses the evidence gathered to validate the established hypothesis generated during framing. Collecting and integrating relevant data is not just limited to quantitative data (numerical data) but also qualitative data (judgment information that provides context). The collection and mapping of critical data to the decision process will provide new insights about the organization or process that can be operationalized.
3) Analyze: Discover, explore, and transform the data. This step in WBB’s EbDM process focuses on the transformation of critical data into actionable knowledge. The key to Discovery Informatics is the ability to rapidly provide an analytical delivery mechanism enabling a whole new level of analysis, insight, and value to existing data stores with user interfaces that are clean, simple, and straightforward. The dashboard becomes the enabler to conducting descriptive, diagnostic, prescriptive, and predictive analysis.
4) Visualize: Present the information in a meaningful way: When analyzing data it is crucial to keep the target audiences and their specific needs in mind. DI is only fully effective when the right information is delivered to the right people at the right time. During development, we incorporate narratives and headlines based on KPIs and user feedback. A narrative puts context around a graph and provides it with meaning. To increase the speed of obtaining decision quality evidence, improve analytical value, and ensure data accuracy, WBB has partnered with Qlik to provide business discovery solutions for our clients to gain visibility into operations and processes, as well as to reduce the time and cost to improve agency performance.
5) Take Action: Clarity in Decision Making: Adopting an EbDM approach is meaningless without taking action. Adoption of EbDM enabled by a business discovery application will provide widespread analytical capabilities across your organization, allowing it take advantage of fleeting opportunities in a budget-constrained environment.
WBB assisted a Defense activity in gaining visibility, for the first time in 31 years, of a $36M global program — and did so in 6 months. Working closely with the customer to implement a Discovery Informatics solution, WBB integrated thousands of financial, performance, and facility inputs into one visualization model. This visual dashboard was used to brief leadership and stakeholders, resulting in an interactive customer experience, real-time discovery, and informed decision making.
Download our whitepaper to learn more about Discovery Informatics: “Spend your Time Executing your Program Instead of Managing the Data”