Automating Stimulus Fund Reporting: How New Technologies Simplify Federal Reporting


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Read about how U.S. government agencies and organizations spending economic stimulus funds are dealing with reporting and analysis requirements - that not only require tracking spending but measuring its economic impact. Find out what to look for in the technology available today to support this data management.

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Automating Stimulus Fund Reporting: How New Technologies Simplify Federal Reporting

  1. 1. SAP Thought Leadership Business intelligence AutomAting StimuluS Fund RepoRting How New TecHNologies simplify federal reporTiNg
  2. 2. Now organizations can automatically compile information, centrally store it, and create instant reports. Not only does this lessen the pressure on cios facing tight arra reporting deadlines, it also gives organizations much greater agility in decision making without high costs.
  3. 3. Content 4 Executive Summary 5 Trends Impacting Stimulus Recipients 5 challenges collecting and analyzing stimulus spending data 5 compressed Time requirements 5 more complex rules 6 a Brief History of data management in reporting 7 The Solution: Automated ARRA Reporting Solutions 7 Benefits of automated arra reporting 7 what to look for in an automat- ed arra reporting solution 9 The SAP Advantage
  4. 4. exeCutive SummARy sap offers compre- hensive automated solutions for arra reporting that help organizations comply with regulations while keeping costs down. properly tracking and reporting stimu- lus fund spending are Herculean tasks How can cios cost-effectively analyze for cios. for many government arra spending and its impact on job agencies and organizations that are creation? is there an automated way to spending U.s. american recovery and meet evolving federal mandates? reinvestment act (arra) funds, the accountability demands of the federal fortunately, new technology is now government mean scrambling to collect available to overcome these complex and analyze floods of data. reporting obstacles. automated arra reporting systems greatly speed the faced with tight deadlines, organiza- reporting process by extracting and tions must consolidate spending infor- analyzing structured and unstructured mation from many different sources data from all relevant sources, greatly and link spending to job creation. How- simplifying the reporting process. ever, compiling, formatting, analyzing, and reporting data from disparate sys- Now organizations can comply with tems often require months of work – federal reporting requirements in just and come with significant costs. add days – without excessive labor costs the prospect that reporting could and data management headaches. This extend beyond existing requirements, paper explores the reporting challenges and organizations are facing significant faced by organizations and examines challenges. the many benefits of automated arra reporting systems. 4 SAP Thought Leadership – automating stimulus fund reporting
  5. 5. tRendS impACting StimuluS ReCipientS demaNds for accoUNTaBiliTy, regUlaTioNs, aNd complexiTy U.s. taxpayers are demanding account- These trends are just the tip of the compressed Time requirements ability in federal spending like never reporting iceberg. public pressure for The time constraints built into arra before, and organizations receiving fiscal responsibility in government legislation put tremendous pressure on federal funds are feeling the squeeze. spending continues to rise. according cios looking for a quick solution. Typi- The arra guidelines released by the to a gartner report, the current admin- cally, mining and aggregating data from federal office of management and istration intends broad and deep trans- varying information silos are laborious Budget demand highly detailed informa- parency to be applied well beyond processes that take weeks or months tion from public and private sector stimulus funding.3 “soon, the near-real- of manual interpretation. with arra recipients.1 time tracking of funding, spending, reports due on short and regular time- and outcomes will be expanded to the lines, organizations often must reallo- Under these new regulations, agencies [entire federal] budget process,” said cate key resources or hire additional and organizations will not only be the report. temporary staff to deliver timely required to track how and where reports, pushing up costs and decreas- stimulus money is spent, but must also To meet today’s stimulus fund reporting ing efficiency. measure the economic impact of that requirements and be ready for future spending. This means accountability initiatives, cios need faster, more effi- more complex rules controls must be in place across all cient tools for collecting data and mea- another challenge is analyzing and systems, including enterprise resource suring outcomes. formatting data into arra-compliant planning, financial, procurement, con- reports. without the right tools, com- tracting, and capital project systems. Challenges Collecting and bining structured and unstructured data Analyzing Stimulus Spending Data into a holistic view can be a logistical aggressive reporting schedules will nightmare, and arra complicates the pressure cios to deliver more complex Tracking the spending of stimulus mon- task even more by requiring new eco- information on shorter deadlines; how- ies across departments and agencies nomic impact measurements. if dollars ever, few tools exist to simplify arra is a massive undertaking. large organi- are spent before tracking and account- reporting. a recent gartner report zations must pull information from ability controls are in place, cios face explains, “most financial management many different systems, such as finan- difficulties constructing the required and performance/compliance reporting cial, procurement, contract, and capital reports. applications – especially business management systems. Because these intelligence tools – will be challenged enterprise applications typically do not a brief examination of the history of to address changes in the expected interface with each other, manual pro- data management for federal reporting time frames of weeks, not months cedures must be implemented to make provides further insight into today’s or years.”2 sense of all of the data. challenges. The office of management and Budget complicating the process even further, also declared that more detailed report- transactional information must also be ing requirements will be issued in the combined with unstructured data. gath- future. fluctuating rules and uncertain ering and sorting all of this information future requirements only create more from a variety of sources can quickly uncertainty for cios seeking to man- become overwhelming. age already complex requirements. organizations often find that existing reporting tools do not meet the mark. 1. office of management and Budget, initial implementing guidance for the american recovery and reinvestment act of 2009. memorandum, february 18, 2009. 2. mcclure, d., gartner, research: stimulus spending reporting will challenge U.s. agencies, february 20, 2009. 3. mcclure, d., gartner, industry research: Q&a: How to seize opportunity from the U.s. economic stimulus plan, april 3, 2009. SAP Thought Leadership – automating stimulus fund reporting 5
  6. 6. A Brief History of Data Management in Reporting Before the 1990s, organizations manually combed through a myriad of systems and created complex spread- sheets to manage data needed for reporting. even during the clinton administration’s stimulus funding initia- tives of the mid-1990s, manual pro- cesses slowed response times. data management technologies would not mature enough until after 2000 to allow reliable automated mining of infor- mation. By the mid-2000s, analytic technologies finally started catching up. for the first time in history, business intelligence tools began to emerge that enabled automated consolidation, man- agement, and analysis of structured faced with tight deadlines, organizations must con- and unstructured data. solidate spending information from many different Today, organizations can collect, track, sources and link spending to job creation. However, and measure any type of data regard- less of its source – without reliance on compiling, formatting, analyzing, and reporting data spreadsheets. The future involves even from disparate systems often require months of work further honing of data management functionality for faster, more efficient – and come with significant costs. reporting. 6 SAP Thought Leadership – automating stimulus fund reporting
  7. 7. the Solution: AutomAted ARRA RepoRting SolutionS sTreamliNiNg daTa maNagemeNT designed to streamline data manage- view predicted versus actual job growth • enhances organizational transparency ment, automated arra reporting solu- from one month to the next. These and accountability while improving tions are new business intelligence solutions provide flexibility that would public trust applications that automatically extract, have been impossible just a few years • streamlines information evaluation so consolidate, and format structured and ago. organizations can decisively act on unstructured information from multiple intelligence sources into arra-compliant reports. Now organizations can automatically Using a single, integrated application to compile information, centrally store it, What to Look for in an Automated automatically gather data into a central- and create instant reports. Not only ARRA Reporting Solution ized universe, these solutions allow does this lessen the pressure on cios users to collect and report information facing tight arra reporting deadlines, when seeking an automated arra effortlessly – no matter how many data it also gives organizations much greater reporting solution, consider the follow- sources are involved. agility in decision making without high ing important requirements: costs. providing organizations faster access Independent technology platform – to information and more flexibility in Benefits of Automated ARRA seek a company that has an open, tracking funds, automated reporting Reporting agnostic technology that works with solutions can measure outcomes more any operating system and doesn’t accurately than ever before. These automated arra reporting provides require enterprise applications. tools enable faster communication of organizations with many unique data between reporting entities and benefits: Underlying data schema – The ideal automatically populate predefined fed- • extracts data from multiple sources, solution should include a data model eral reports. for example, state and such as contracting and procure- that satisfies the analysis requirements local agencies can use automated ment, financial, federal grant, and needed to support your organization’s reporting solutions to quickly and easily service/utility sourcing systems business processes. working with a manage arra funds across interagen- • aggregates data into a single data company that provides comprehensive cy and partner organizations, and deliv- universe using off-the-shelf configu- data modeling as part of the package er timely reports with the touch of a rations, reducing elaborate custom saves many weeks of development button. configuration time. • eliminates time-consuming manual a centralized data universe allows easy interpretation and consolidation of Business intelligence expertise – access and better visualization of infor- unstructured data from sources such look for a company that is a market mation for ad hoc reporting. a graphical as open sQl, text, microsoft, ora- leader in providing business intelligence interface gives stakeholders more deci- cle, and microsoft excel files based on complex data and has sion-making power. • maximizes the power of visualization industry-specific expertise across mul- with simple, easy-to-use dashboards tiple arra-funded recipients, such as for instance, a governor might use a • increases data reliability by eliminat- public sector, healthcare, industrial, util- geographic dashboard interface to find ing the human error that results from ities, and educational organizations. out instantly how an arra-funded edu- manual processes cation initiative is affecting each county • generates arra-compliant reports and individual community in the state. in a day rather than weeks or months The same software can enable a pro- • Helps organizations monitor, adjust, gram manager to design reports to and enhance funding allocations to better meet policy objectives SAP Thought Leadership – automating stimulus fund reporting 7
  8. 8. Ad hoc reporting flexibility – work Automatic XML feed – choose a with a company whose solution solution that not only populates arra enables single power users to drill requirement forms but automatically down through information to construct feeds xml reports to the proper easily shared ad hoc reports that leave government web sites. an impeccable audit trail. also, look for a solution that allows multiple, real- Enhanced audit functionality – time views for a variety of users and look for a solution that provides quick ties performance to objectives for access to historical reports to prove any organizational initiative – not just that reported data is based on factual arra reporting. data. A single-vendor solution – look for a single vendor that provides ongoing support as arra requirements evolve. Under these new regulations, agencies and organizations will not only be required to track how and where stimulus money is spent, but must also measure the economic im- pact of that spending. This means accountability controls must be in place across all systems, including enterprise resource planning, financial, procurement, contracting, and capital project systems. This approach cuts costs and saves effort with one point of contact, one data model, and one set of mainte- nance tools. Visual dashboards – The solution should include highly visual, easy-to- use dashboards. These dashboards should provide an enterprise view of arra funding that is easily interpreted by various stakeholders such as execu- tives, program managers, legislators, and audit bodies. 8 SAP Thought Leadership – automating stimulus fund reporting
  9. 9. the SAp AdvAntAge exTeNsive experieNce, HigHly TrUsTed solUTioNs sap® Businessobjects™ solutions can • Open architecture supports all • Economic impact measurement – support management and reporting of applications and database software measuring how stimulus investment arra funds, and represent the clear – designed for ease of use and quick impacts job creation is a high priority choice for any organization seeking to startup, the solutions do not require in arra legislation. The high-quality automate its arra reporting process. an installation of sap enterprise soft- data analysis functionality of sap sap is widely recognized as an indus- ware or any other enterprise soft- Businessobjects software helps try leader in business intelligence solu- ware to operate. users project the economic effect of tions and has extensive experience • All-inclusive data intelligence – The any initiative with unprecedented in this area. sap Businessobjects solutions reconcile both structured detail. Now organizations can mea- solutions have been placed in the and unstructured information from sure their spending impact on job leaders Quadrant in gartner’s magic virtually any source into a single, creation – and the economic value of Quadrant for data Quality Tools.4 quality-checked data universe. from those jobs – in real time. • Created for ARRA and beyond – sap offers comprehensive automat- The time constraints built into arra legislation put tre- ed solutions for arra reporting that mendous pressure on cios looking for a quick solution. help organizations comply with regu- lations while keeping costs down. Typically, mining and aggregating data from varying infor- prepackaged. predefined reports mation silos are laborious processes that take weeks or meet today’s office of management and Budget guidelines, and the months of manual interpretation. with arra reports due solutions are designed to be fully on short and regular timelines, organizations often must extensible and adaptable to future arra requirements with no addition- reallocate key resources or hire additional temporary staff al cost or investment. to deliver timely reports, pushing up costs and decreasing find out more about how to streamline efficiency. the arra reporting process and optimize operations with sap Businessobjects solutions. For a com- These highly trusted solutions serve data extraction to finished report plimentary product demonstration, more than 4,000 organizations world- delivery, every aspect of arra contact your SAP representative or wide, including all U.s. federal agencies reporting is automated. visit and 60 of the nation’s largest health- • Strategy management tools – care providers. intuitive dashboards and scorecards help businesses instantly measure sap software is designed to provide progress against goals. power users the foundation for a fully integrated can drill down and view data at highly business intelligence platform, and as granular levels, such as per invest- such, offers several major advantages: ment or awarded contract. 4. friedman, T., et. al., gartner, report: magic Quadrant for data Quality Tools, June 9, 2009. The magic Quadrant is copyrighted 2009 by gartner, inc. and is reused with permission. The magic Quadrant is a graphical representation of a marketplace at and for a specific time period. it depicts gartner’s analysis of how certain vendors measure against criteria for that marketplace, as defined by gartner. gartner does not endorse any vendor, product, or service depicted in the magic Quadrant, and does not advise technology users to select only those vendors placed in the “leaders” quadrant. The magic Quadrant is intended solely as a research tool, and is not meant to be a specific guide to action. gartner disclaims all warranties, express or implied, with respect to this research, including any warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose. SAP Thought Leadership – automating stimulus fund reporting 9
  10. 10. 50 096 884 (09/09) ©2009 by sap ag. all rights reserved. sap, r/3, sap Netweaver, duet, partneredge, Bydesign, sap Business Bydesign, and other sap products and services mentioned herein as well as their respective logos are trademarks or registered trademarks of sap ag in germany and other countries. Business objects and the Business objects logo, Businessobjects, crystal reports, crystal decisions, web intelligence, xcelsius, and other Business objects products and services mentioned herein as well as their respective logos are trademarks or registered trademarks of Business objects s.a. in the United states and in other countries. Business objects is an sap company. all other product and service names mentioned are the trademarks of their respective companies. data contained in this document serves informational purposes only. National product specifications may vary. These materials are subject to change without notice. These materials are provided by sap ag and its affiliated companies (“sap group”) for informational purposes only, without representation or warranty of any kind, and sap group shall not be liable for errors or omissions with respect to the materials. The only warranties for sap group products and services are those that are set forth in the express warranty statements accompanying such products and services, if any. Nothing herein should be construed as constituting an additional warranty. /contactsap