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Report 2017-002-EOIG - Evaluation of the EEOC’s Data Analytics Activities

Fiscal Year: 
2017
Executive Summary: 

This analytics evaluation of the Equal Opportunity Employment Commission (EEOC) was conducted by Elder Research on behalf of the EEOC Office of Inspector General (EEOC OIG).  The three primary objectives of the assessment were to:

  1. Assess the strengths and weaknesses of the EEOC’s data analytics culture, strategy, tactics, and capabilities (people, processes, technologies, financial resources, etc.).
  2. Assess EEOC’s strategies for ensuring the validity and accuracy of critical databases.
  3. Identify improvements, opportunities, and best practices regarding EEOC’s data analysis and predictive analytics activities.

During this engagement, the assessment team relied on interviews/walkthroughs that were supplemented, as needed, by EEOC strategic plans, reports, and reviews.  The evaluation focused on data flows and usage of data within the organization to guide decision-making processes.  The evaluation team conducted 26 meetings with a diverse group of stakeholders at EEOC headquarters and two district offices (Charlotte, Chicago) to inform its evaluation. 

The following table outlines the five assessment areas and a brief summary of findings for each area:

Table 1‑1: Summary of Assessment Areas and Corresponding Findings

Area

Area Overview

Finding Summary

Culture

The extent the EEOC’s culture views data as a core asset and the extent analytics benefits from executive leadership, awareness and vision related to analytics, and environments that foster both collaboration and objective evaluation.

Stakeholders within the EEOC are largely unaware of the differences between reporting and predictive analytics and therefore are unaware of the value that can be unlocked by treating data as a strategic asset.   

People

The extent the analytics team(s) understand organizational needs, creatively approach problems, and effectively utilize available tools.

The EEOC lacks an enterprise-scope analytics team devoted to addressing a variety of organizational challenges.

Process

The extent the analytics team(s) have clearly-defined processes to gain business understanding and implement repeatable processes to derive data-oriented insights to address organizational needs.

The EEOC lacks an enterprise-scope analytics team to perform data analytics, so therefore lacks a clearly defined process for such a team.

Analytics Capability

The extent analytics team(s) demonstrate appropriate technical sophistication of analytical products, incorporate feedback into model evaluation and management processes, and evaluate new techniques and technologies.

While existing areas of reporting and analysis use appropriate levels of sophistication to adequately address case-specific goals, the EEOC lacks a general-purpose analytics team to evaluate general analytics capabilities.

Infrastructure

The extent the IT infrastructure fosters data collection and analysis from disparate data sources and enables delivery of effective reporting and analytic products.

The EEOC lacks key, foundational components of infrastructure to support both reporting and data analytics initiatives.

A review of the above table should not be discouraging.  Rather, the EEOC should be encouraged by the opportunity that lies ahead: effective implementation of the recommendations contained within this report hold the potential to unlock substantial value and significantly improve the EEOC’s ability to accomplish its core mission.  This report aims to provide a practical roadmap for the agency to progressively move towards a well-functioning analytics program that empowers individuals to more efficiently and effectively accomplish tasks and make decisions.