Enterprise Data Intelligence

Client: United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development National Financial and Accounting Operations Center (NFAOC)

Diagnosing Challenges in the Credit Data Warehouse

Challenge: USDA Rural Development manages more than 40 separate loan and loan guarantee programs and carries more than $100 Billion in mortgage exposure. NFAOC’s Credit Data Warehouse consolidates data from 19 subsidiary data marts to facilitate accounting, servicing, and financial reporting. Business users struggled to retrieve accurate data with existing tools. To fully understand the extent and underlying causes of the purported data issues, RD hired FI to conduct a review of the current state of the Tabular Data Warehouse (TDW) and related systems, the business requirements of the users, and the likely causes of the perceived shortcomings.

FI Solution: FI evaluated the current system’s components and integrations to identify capabilities and gaps, interviewed business users to identify their data and analytics needs, and synthesized our findings to give USDA a clear view of the current environment and a path forward. We conducted surveys and interviews, reviewed system documentation, and facilitated focus group discussions to gain an understanding of the system and business processes involved. We illustrated several of our recommendations by developing and sharing with USDA prototype solutions.

FI Impact: FI’s work helped USDA executives better understand the system interactions and the root causes of the challenges in its Data Warehouse environment. We developed advanced business intelligence (BI) tools for augmenting Tableau data sources with data glossary information and human-legible field names. FI created wiki-based data glossary for capturing institutional knowledge and to show interconnectedness of data fields between source systems. USDA executives received a step-by-step roadmap for improving the returns on their Data Warehouse investment.