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Data Warehouse Consultants Releases Major Enhancements to Custom Analytics Tool

PITTSBURGH (April 25, 2019) — Data Warehouse Consultants equips Allegheny County Department of Human Services with an updated Outcomes Tool application, enabling advanced analytics across 25+ human services data sources as of February 1.

The Outcomes Tool is a web-based analytic application that allows authorized users to compile data for evaluation. The purpose is to compile aggregate results based on the specific outcomes of individual programs for Allegheny County Department of Human Services’ (DHS), a public health organization in Pittsburgh, programs and services.

Data Warehouse Consultants furnished the Outcomes Tool with an instinctive functionality and navigation making it easy to use and boosting the tool’s efficiency. This tool solves two primary problems that analysts often face.

When studying the effectiveness of a program, analysts must first identify a cohort of individuals meeting specific demographic and programmatic criteria. For example, for a prevention program the analyst may need to identify clients who have had a homeless episode and also recently been in jail. This tool enables them to define the criteria they would like for the cohort across a range of available options, and to generate a list of clients. This cohort is then saved for future analysis over time.

The analyst may want to evaluate the effect of a program to see what percentage of the group has gone back into jail within a designated amount of time.

The problem with doing this analysis is that these criteria must be evaluated independently for each individual because the release date and relevant time period are different for everyone. The first person may have been released from jail in January, and the next person in March. So determining whether the individual returned to jail within one year changes for each person. The Outcomes Tool performs this analysis individual-by-individual, then compiles the results into a common format the analyst can use for future evaluation.

Overcoming both of these hurdles simultaneously provides DHS analysts with a powerful tool that enables consistent program evaluation over time. The release of the recent enhancements to this tool have greatly increased the range of analyses that can be performed on the DHS data warehouse allowing DHS to enhance the service quality and care provided to Allegheny County residents.

 

About Allegheny County Department of Human Services: DHS is responsible for providing and administering publicly-funded human services to Allegheny County residents. DHS is dedicated to meeting these human services needs, most particularly for the county’s vulnerable populations, through an extensive range of information exchange, prevention, early intervention, case management, crisis intervention and after-care services.

About Data Warehouse Consultants:  Data Warehouse Consultants is a consulting firm based in Pittsburgh, PA.  Founded in 2004 the firm provides custom development services for web applications and corporate database and data warehouse environments.

 

Data Warehouse Consultants Introduce Unique QuickCount Tool

PITTSBURGH (April 4, 2019) — With the help of Data Warehouse Consultants, the Allegheny County Department of Human Services recently launched an updated QuickCount Tool application.

QuickCount is an online, easy-to-use interface that allows journalists, policy researchers, grant writers, nonprofit leaders and community agencies to obtain counts of participants involved in the programs and services provided by the Allegheny County Department of Human Services, a public health organization located in Pittsburgh.  

Data Warehouse Consultants led the effort to update the application with a new visually appealing layout and clearly defined color scheme linked to the “Allegheny County” brand. The features and functionalities conveniently guide users through the application for a pleasant user experience.Picture of an example graph from QuickCount

The tool is available to the public at https://quickcount.alleghenycounty.us.  Users have the option to see counts of cross-program involvement by geography and client demographics for many public programs in the County.  Information on using the tool can be found in the User’s Guide on the QuickCount Help Site.

About Allegheny County Department of Human Services: DHS is responsible for providing and administering publicly-funded human services to Allegheny County residents. DHS is dedicated to meeting these human services needs, most particularly for the county’s vulnerable populations, through an extensive range of information exchange, prevention, early intervention, case management, crisis intervention and after-care services.

About Data Warehouse Consultants:  Data Warehouse Consultants is a consulting firm based in Pittsburgh, PA.  Founded in 2004 the firm provides custom development services for web applications and corporate database and data warehouse environments.

Moving Your Data Warehouse to the Cloud

The Cloud offers many advantages and many organizations are looking to utilize Cloud solutions.  But how easy is it to move an existing Data Warehouse to Microsoft Azure or Amazon Web Services?  To gain insight and better advise our clients, Data Warehouse Consultants has begun two research projects to identify the benefits and pitfalls of a move to the Cloud.

One project migrates an existing operational data warehouse to Microsoft Azure utilizing Azure SQL Data Warehouse, SQL Server Integration Services (SSIS) and T-SQL in a cloud hosted server environment.  The other project migrates the same operational data warehouse to AWS Redshift using Python in the AWS Lambda serverless environment.

Through these two parallel development efforts, Data Warehouse Consultants will be better positioned to help clients evaluate the different Cloud based solutions and assist an organization as it migrates existing systems or implements new solutions in a Cloud based environment.

Consultant Advises CMU Students on Cutting Edge Capstone Project

Data Warehouse Consultants is focused on the Western Pennsylvania market and encourages our consultants to support the local institutions here.  Bob Brichacek,  a senior consultant for the firm, moonlights as an adjunct professor at the Carnegie Mellon University Heinz Graduate School.  Bob teaches a graduate course in Data Warehousing and acts as a regular sponsor of the Master’s of Information System Management’s “capstone” program.  This program is a semester-long project course where students work in teams to solve a real-world problem submitted by local businesses.

This year Bob’s team built an incredibly functional cloud-based video conversion tool using the Amazon Web Services cloud-based products.  This project has been featured on Carnegie Mellon’s website.  They write:

Bob Brichacek, the team’s faculty advisor, commended the students on their motivation and creativity, calling them “some of the smartest people I’ve ever worked with.”

“This is the most current technology. [The students] got to play with [tools] that a very small percentage of the population has played with,” said Brichacek. He adds that the pieces of the AWS toolset don’t just plug and play, and that the students’ main accomplishment was successfully customizing each piece to have the functionality Legendary required.

Click here to read the full article.

 

ACDHS Qualifies Data Warehouse Consultants to Build Custom Applications

Alleghany County Seal LogoPittsburgh, PA:  Allegheny County Department of Human Services (DHS) approved Data Warehouse Consultants to build business intelligence and web applications beginning in September 2014. This provides Data Warehouse Consultants the opportunity to fulfill projects for the Department of Human Services on an as needed, project-by-project basis.

Of the company’s recent success, Data Warehouse Consultants President John Shantz said “We are very excited to have been qualified to do application work for DHS.  This will allow us to expand our existing relationship with the county to really make a difference in continually improving the valuable services that DHS provides.  We look forward to working closely with DHS to use technology in helping Allegheny County communities and citizens.”

Achieving this qualification designation was the result of a rigorous Request For Qualifications (RFQ) process administered by the county that required Data Warehouse Consultants to compete with other interested firms.  Ultimately DHS decided that the consulting firm’s experience and focus are the best fit for the work that needs to be done.

About Allegheny County Department of Human Services:  DHS is responsible for providing and administering publicly-funded human services to Allegheny County residents. DHS is dedicated to meeting these human services needs, most particularly for the county’s vulnerable populations, through an extensive range of information exchange, prevention, early intervention, case management, crisis intervention and after-care services.  (www.alleghenycounty.us/dhs/)

About Data Warehouse Consultants:  Data Warehouse Consultants is a consulting firm based in Pittsburgh, PA.  Founded in 2004 the firm provides custom development services for web applications and corporate database and data warehouse environments.  (www.dwconsultants.com)