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DBM raises new level of business intelligence with Budget Cycle Analytics

In age of Open Data, PFMP provides technical assistance for better data analysis
 
 
03 February 2016
 
MANILA—The Department of Budget and Management (DBM), with technical assistance from the Philippines-Australia Public Financial Management Program (PFMP), has developed a Budget Cycle Analytics (BCA) Business Intelligence Solution to equip budget analysts with an analytics tool for better financial and physical performance analysis and decision making. 
 
The BCA will capitalise on the benefits and completeness of information provided by the Unified Account Code Structure (UACS) during the Budget Preparation, Legislation, Execution and Accountability phases of the budget cycle. Last January 20, the BCA proceeded to “go live” at DBM. 
 
“This is an important project for PFMP in our objective to build the base for helping DBM transform its decision making capabilities by making use of analytics,” said Daniel Featherston, PFMP Team Leader and Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) Counsellor. “This is a high focus area for us as we help DBM move towards the use of analytics to efficiently analyse the data, gain actionable insights, and make better informed decisions based on a logical analysis of the use of the budget.”
 
PFMP Team Leader Daniel Featherston (center) is joined by PFM Program Team in DBM and Tenth Planet IT consultants 
who worked together in developing the BCA Business Intelligence Solution for DBM. 
From left to right: PFM Program Secretariat Team Leader Aldrin Aquino, Avinash Dhana Sekar, Technical Lead/Development Manager, Tenth Planet, PFMP Team Leader Daniel Featherston,
Arul Mani, Project Manager, Tenth Planet, Roberto Garcez, PFMP IT Adviser, and Gary Ellem, PFMP Program Delivery Adviser. 
 
 
DBM Undersecretary and Chief Information Officer Richard E. Moya stressed the importance of the BCA in ensuring transparency and accountability in the use of government funds for the public good. “In the age of Open Data wherein we are advocating for the openness and accessibility of government data for the wider public’s knowledge and consumption, the BCA raises the level of business intelligence in the way we do things at DBM,” he said. 
 
 
What is the BCA?
 
DBM analysts must use the information from historical data, budget proposals, and in-year reporting to ensure that performance is in line with the government’s fiscal and sectoral policies. However, a lack of reliable data, and a powerful and user friendly IT tool, are often cited as the main reasons for the inability to manipulate and analyze the data to support decision making. To address this problem, the BCA was developed to help budget analysts to analyze the data, and aid in sound decision making to improve the government’s allocation and operational efficiency and service delivery. 
 
The Budget Cycle Analytics Business Intelligence Solution is capable of loading, organising, and consolidating UACS based data on the Budget Preparation, Legislation, Execution and Accountability phases of the Budget Cycle. It will provide a web-based portal with graphic and interactive tools for Business Analytics Questioning, Reporting, Ad Hoc Queries and Dashboards for in-year and multi-year financial and physical performance analysis and decision making based on multiple dimensions (e.g. fiscal year, date, UACS segments and hierarchy, budget cycle transactions, etc).
 
The system will use the Pentaho enterprise edition as a business analytics platform for the implementation of the BCA.
 
 
Tenth Planet IT consultants during their courtesy call to DBM Undersecretary Richard Moya.  
From left to right: Avinash Dhana Sekar, Technical Lead/Development Manager, Tenth Planet, Senthil Kumar, Data Architect, Tenth Planet,
DBM Undersecretary Richard E. Moya, and Arul Mani, Project Manager, Tenth Planet.
 
 
 
Training and Mentoring 
 
Last January, the first batch of trainees on the use of the BCA included 15 members of the DBM Core Team. It is estimated that for the first phase of the project, some 30-40 registered users will be actively using the BCA. Senior officials will also have real-time access to the dashboards for a quick overview of the budget and other relevant data. 
 
As the use of the BCA gains traction, PFMP will also be supporting the provision of mentoring support for selected Budget Management Bureau (BMB) units. The desired outcome of the activity is for selected BMBs to strengthen the performance-focus of their decision-making and dialogue with agencies. The trainings will also assist analysts to prepare for the 2017 budget preparation process, including helping to ensure availability of key data that will be relevant to decision making. 
 
PFMP contracted the services of IT firm Tenth Planet for the development of the BCA. Tenth Planet is the winner of the Technology Innovation Award of Pentaho for 2015. For more information on Tenth Planet, click here: www.tenthplanet.in   
 
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