The Scientific and Technical Information Center of a Federal Civilian Agency is responsible for supporting and enhancing the effectiveness of its user base through search, information services, and automation testing. Its user base includes a group of highly educated doctors, lawyers and examiners that must have access to a broad range of databases (quantitative and qualitative) to adequately perform their jobs.
Users have been relying on a legacy system built on ColdFusion and an Access database hosted on an SQL server to manage their access workflow. After a detailed analysis of the existing platform, the new Director of the Scientific and Technical Information Center wanted to revamp the technology tools and bring in the latest and greatest. So, a decision was made to migrate the workflow onto a SharePoint environment built on an SQL Server platform. In addition, the leadership also decided to implement Tableau as a data visualization tool.
The challenge was to find the right talent, which included a team of SharePoint Developers and Administrators and a talented Tableau expert that could take this vision and conduct a detailed analysis of the user requirements before building out the system.
Our client, a large systems integration firm supporting the Federal Agency, turned to The Squires Group Inc. (TSGi) to help build their SharePoint and Tableau team.
Our key challenge was finding the right mix of team members that possessed the skills and had prior experience with planning, design and migration to the new system. In addition, it was important our different team members worked closely with each other so that they could leverage the functionality of both SharePoint and Tableau.
To support the strategic needs of this workflow migration, we reengaged one of our senior SharePoint alumni. Since he joined the project, he has been working closely with the new Director to develop the enhanced workflow application. He has also played a major role in documenting the user needs and testing the feasibility of the required functionality within SharePoint.
In addition, our resource team was able to deliver a senior local SharePoint consultant to support the SharePoint upgrade project. As part of the upgrade project, our expert is working on a large migration from SharePoint 2007 to 2013.
He was also asked to take the lead on moving a large group of websites to the client’s central SharePoint Online site. As part of this effort, he is responsible for making certain the central site is running smoothly on a daily basis. Our consultant successfully migrated the entire system and it is up and running now on SharePoint 2013 with excellent reliability.
Hiring a Tableau expert turned out to be a bigger challenge. Tableau is a highly specialized and in-demand expertise. Therefore, our Resource Team had to expand the geographical focus of their search as the majority of Tableau experts are not local to the DC Metro area. Ultimately, we were able to deliver the right Tableau expert to support the critical data visualization project.
Over the next several months, our Tableau expert has been helping the agency set up the necessary Tableau licenses on the server, create the data marts as well as the creation of the preliminary data visualization reports for the senior leadership. At the same time, she has also collaborated with the user base and holders of various agency data marts to educate them on how data visualization can help them perform their jobs better. Most importantly, she has been playing a critical role in transforming the way the agency reviews data to make critical business decisions.
While the project is ongoing, The Squires Group consulting team, in partnership with the Prime Integrator is consistently delivering the required work products for both the SharePoint and Tableau environments.
This consistent delivery continues to contribute to a successful adoption of important technology that the agency is relying on to transform how they make important business decisions. Our team is also actively supporting the new Director in radically changing the way the users access the data they need to do their day-to-day jobs. This in turn is helping the examiners improve their productivity by helping them access the data they need to help make decisions.
Here is what one of the federal agency managers had to say about our SharePoint Lead consultant, Joseph – “Joseph is outstanding. Thank you for your fine contributions to our team and our customer.”
The Acting Deputy Chief Policy Officer for Operations complimented Joseph by saying “WOW! I hadn’t had an opportunity to look at the new SharePoint site until now and it is wonderful. You have really done a terrific job. Thanks very much!”
For his efforts, Joseph was awarded our coveted Consultant of the Quarter in the third quarter of 2016.
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