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Smart land management

User stories from the knowledge front

The Bureau of Land Management is using business intelligence software to track its budget and expenditures, as well as to measure the performance of its key programs. An agency within the U.S. Department of the Interior, the Bureau administers 262 million acres of America's public lands. The software from Brio, being used by 7,000 employees, is said to have improved the Bureau's overall efficiency and productivity, and saved it more than $1.6 million in labor costs, according to a recent press release.

"It has helped us replace an unwieldy system of printed quarterly reports that took six weeks or more to prepare, print and distribute," says Lester Knutsen, president of Advanced DataTools, an IT contractor to the BLM. "The new system shortened information and report delivery from 45 days to overnight."

Advanced Data Tools began working with the Bureau several years ago to develop a data warehouse to track funding and expenses better. The Bureau wanted a system that would allow employees to run their own queries and update financial reports from field offices without any IT training.

The data warehouse, now accessed by Brio, is updated daily and populated with more than 70 million rows of data annually. By providing a single point of access to information stored in finance, budget, procurement and other business systems, the software enables the data warehouse to connect all the field offices with the company headquarters, allowing users to access the same information in a timely fashion. Users at any level, and usually without programming skills, can run ad hoc queries and generate reports in a variety of formats.

The solution is said to make it easier for the Bureau of Land Management to meet goals and metrics required by the Government Performance and Results Act.

Don Beck, executive VP of worldwide sales with Brio, says that because of the success of the Bureau of Land Management's business intelligence implementation, other federal departments including the Department of Agriculture and the Office of Management and Budget are considering similar installations.

"Employees at the Bureau of Land Management are now able to access accurate and timely information to improve decision making and business performance across the board," Beck says.

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