Bits and Bytes Blog
ODGA and the DVS Veteran Identification Project
Thursday, September 14, 2023
About the Office of Data Governance and Analytics (ODGA)
The ODGA works with Commonwealth agencies and public institutions to maximize the value of Commonwealth data through strategic governance, secure and appropriate data sharing, and enterprise analytics services informing actionable intelligence. The office is led by the Chief Data Officer for the Commonwealth of Virginia and is made up of a team full of talented professionals.
What is the problem that the agency was facing?
The Department of Veteran Services (DVS) had difficulty identifying all the veterans in Virginia, making outreach and marketing of services difficult. Ideally, the Department of Veterans Services needed to know where veterans are located in Virginia to better allocate resources such as Veteran Affairs hospitals, mental health services, Veteran cemeteries, and more.
What is ODGA doing for this agency?
DVS collaborated with a third party to find an overlap between Virginian Veterans listed in the Department of Defense’s database and the third party’s database to create a holistic view of Virginia Veterans. ODGA gathered DVS data from multiple file sources and systems and ingested them into ODGA’s internal database systems. A data mart was created and made accessible to DVS staff members to give them data analysis capabilities.
The ODGA is working with DVS to perform data analysis to determine what insights they can glean from the data.
What technologies or processes are being used in this project? What is the general flow of information to the solution?
ODGA is using their full Azure Cloud environment Azure data factory, Azure data warehouse, and an Azure SQL data mart. The Veteran data was loaded into Azure Data Lake. The team was then able to pull data with data factory into a data warehouse. In a data warehouse, the ODGA team was able to analyze data, curate, run data quality checks, and combine data if needed/applicable. The data was then put in data mart for analytics and reporting.
The Department of Veterans Services commented on working with the ODGA, stating that the staff is “Very responsive and efficient.... a pleasure to work with.”
The ODGA solution for the Department of Veterans Services has made their agency processes more efficient. DVS states: “...Visualizing our data is made easier by housing the data in a SQL database which can be linked to visualization tools directly. We also have eliminated the high number of disparate data files by merging them into one deduplicated data set.”