Insights

Case Study: With High-Profile Stakes, EightCloud Dished Up Data Visualization for WaTech

Since 2011, Washington Technology Solutions, WaTech, has been tasked with carrying the state into the future. WaTech provides comprehensive technology services for Washington’s 100-plus agencies and municipalities and oversees more than $1.64 billion in state projects.

Considered one of the most open governments in the country — with an A- ranking in the 2018 Digital States Survey — Washington was already under strict rules that governed the public’s access to information.

Derek Puckett, formerly the TBM Consultant at WaTech and currently serving as its Legislative Affairs Director, is in a unique position to manage the state’s public-facing IT dashboard. Part of his daily duties include making sure legislators and residents can easily track what projects are being worked on.

Business Challenge

WaTech Needed Instant Analytics

In 2019, the legislature passed new rules, making accessibility requirements even more stringent. The regulations require the data be more detailed and easier to find. The regulations also require burn rates on project spending and the ability to roll up projects that impact other agencies.

WaTech had a barebones Salesforce system with no data visualization. In addition, trend tracking was incredibly difficult.

The agency needed an easy-to-use system with analytics capabilities that:

  1. Visualized data at a deep level
  2. Integrated with other systems
  3. Could be implemented quickly

We’ve been limping along with a functional but unimpressive system. The value we got in 10 weeks is really impressive.

–  Derek Puckett, Project Manager
WaTech


What We Did

Giving Data a Story to Tell

With 10 weeks to implement the new dashboard, WaTech engaged EightCloud, a Salesforce partner.

EightCloud completed:

  • A full implementation plan
  • Back-end data structure
  • A front-end dashboard

In addition to adding new data access, the EightCloud team incorporated Tableau software. Tableau makes the dashboard visually stunning and allows users to make deep connections between data sets.

Key projects completed by EightCloud

  1. A gap analysis and project plan
  2. Back-end and front-end design and implementation
  3. Advanced Tableau data visualization

 

“Before” Dashboard     

   

Optimized Data Visualization Dashboard

  WaTech Data Visualization Dashboard

Results

Speed, Accessibility, Visualization

With the old dashboard, users were presented with a utilitarian option to pick an agency. With the new dashboard, users can see a visualized snapshot of the entire state, a particular project or an agency.
Due to the high-profile nature of the dashboard, Puckett was tasked with briefing the state legislature. Senators, representatives and legislative staff were impressed with the results:

Quicker decisions. Legislators can quickly see if a project is on schedule or over budget. This functionality has already cut down on workload during crunch time, saving dozens of hours per issue.

More openness. Not only is WaTech in compliance, a resident with few tech skills can see how their tax dollars are spent on IT projects—with context.

Data storytelling. On a macro level, residents can see visually which phase the state’s 88 IT projects are in, how many are in “red” status, the value of all proposals and much more.

In addition to project work, the agency collaborates with EightCloud for Managed Services. EightCloud provides blended retainer services for less than the cost of one employee.


WaTech published an RFP and conducted a competitive procurement to engage Salesforce support. EightCloud was the highest scoring responder in our procurement process. What won was their ability to approach our problem holistically. We also wanted someone who had worked with government agencies. In the end, we didn’t have Salesforce professionals in house and EightCloud was able to demonstrate that they could fulfill that need”

–  Derek Puckett, Project Manager 
WaTech

 

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We have been using EightCloud for over a year. They are an amazing partner, always there to help at any moment no matter how large or small the problem. They take the time to back track and explain the entire concept so that we are better prepared moving forward to handle similar issues on our own. They empower and encourage. We have been more than satisfied with our partner."

- Jessica Brustad, Argen

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