The Management Directorate at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is responsible for gathering and reporting data across the agency — a feat that it perhaps easier said than done. If a manager was required to prepare a report in order to consolidate the agency’s real estate, for example, she would have to reach out to the building’s security office, look into the financial systems, and talk to several other people just to collect the information she needed. After going through multiple systems to get the data, managers would then need to access a different system to report it.
The undersecretary for management at DHS sought a system that could consolidate and report management information with timeliness and ease. He wanted a dashboard that could collect information from DHS’ multiple departments, allow for performance analysis, and present that information in an easily accessible dashboard with reporting capabilities. And instead of taking weeks, he wanted management to be able to do all of this in a matter of days.
With a strong track record in developing data publication sites like USA Spending and IT Dashboard, REI was exceptionally qualified to create a data management system to improve the sluggish information gathering processes at DHS. The final product was the Management Cube. Like a Rubik’s cube, the Management Cube can be turned in a multitude of ways to reveal several unique combinations of data presentation and visualization. With the Management Cube, DHS’ financial, acquisition, human capital, procurement, asset, and security data was integrated into a single location, making it a one-stop shop for all of DHS’ management needs.
To create the DHS Management Cube, REI exclusively used open source software, which allowed the project to remain secure and cost-efficient. Additionally, REI’s Agile development framework encouraged progress to be delivered in short release periods, which ensured that DHS was informed and involved at every stage of the project.
Impact & Outcomes
In March 19, 2014, Chris Cummiskey, Acting Under Secretary for Management at DHS, praised the Management Cube: “Bringing together information from different data sources and different systems — and being able to process the data quickly — is no easy task, and attests to the vision and determination of those involved in this project. Through this initiative, the Department has made significant progress in advancing and integrating enterprise business intelligence capabilities.”
The Management Cube was also chosen as a Top 8 Finalist in the ACT-IAC Igniting Innovation Awards in 2015. The Top 30 finalists exhibited their solutions at the Igniting Innovation Showcase on February 5, 2015 at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center in Washington, D.C.