DBM holds End Users Training for Budget Cycle Analytics
PFMP provides mentoring support as agency moves towards BCA’s implementation
07 April 2016
MANILA—The Department of Budget and Management (DBM) recently held a series of trainings for budget specialists to prepare them on the use of the Budget Cycle Analytics (BCA) Business Intelligence Solution. The software, which went “live” last January, aims to equip budget analysts with an analytics tool for better financial and physical performance analysis and decision making.
Some 60 to 70 DBM staff were trained in February. The users were classified according to the following categories: Power Users, Directors, Senior Officials, Budget Analysts and IT. The first batch of trainees on the use of the BCA also included senior officials who will have access to the dashboards for a quick overview of the budget and other relevant data. The available data will include up to the previous night’s submission and can be scheduled to be viewed live on demand if required. Currently, the system is ready for roll-out to the Operations Bureaus.
The Philippines-Australia Public Financial Management Program (PFMP) is supporting the provision of mentoring support for selected Budget Management Bureau (BMB) units in DBM. The bureaus who attended the BCA demonstrations included the Budget Technical Bureau (BTB) and Fiscal Planning & Reforms Bureau (FPRB), and the following BMBs such as Economic Development, Human Development, Good Governance, Security, Peace and Justice, Food Security, and the Public Expenditure Management Bureau (PEMB), Performance Monitoring & Evaluation Bureau (PMEB) and Knowledge Management/Strategic Communications.
It is expected that through the BCA trainings, the selected BMBs will be able 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.
“PFMP is supporting the implementation of the BCA at DBM because as a business analytics tool, this upholds the government’s call for transparency and accountability in the use of public funds,” said Daniel Featherston, PFMP Team Leader and Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) Counsellor. “We are hoping the BCA will be institutionalized in DBM since it will not change existing systems, but will be a useful tool to increase the analytical capabilities of DBM’s analysts.”
Ms. Bernardita Chua of DBM-BMB, one of the Power Users gives an overview of the BCA.
Developed for DBM through the technical assistance from PFMP, the BCA will provide the budget analysts in DBM with an analytics tool
that will help them generate financial reports more quickly, and do financial and physical performance analysis that will be useful for decision-making.
Mr. Senthil Kumar of Tenth Planet (left) discusses the functionalities of the BCA during the training for the end-users.
One of the distinct functions of the BCA is the interactive, multi-dimensional data analysis with visualization that allows users to create reports on demand.
Tenth Planet was contracted by PFMP to develop the BCA as part of its technical assistance for DBM under the Public Financial Management program.
Analysing data from hours to seconds
The BCA features interactive analysis that allow users to create reports on demand. Because of its multidimensional data analysis with visualization, analysts are able to appreciate the data on both a macro and micro level. This has allowed users at DBM to generate the required budget reports in mere seconds, and down to the smallest details.
With its introduction, the BCA has changed the way DBM budget analysts do their work. In the past, it took a lot of hours, changing formats, and painstaking and sometimes manual work to generate reports. As a business solution and analytical tool, the BCA now allows users to access the data 24/7, extract information in different formats (e.g. PDF, Excel, Pie or Bar charts) and know immediately the number of appropriated, allotted, and disbursed amounts. This is essential for government to know and decide on which programs to prioritize to support the delivery of basic public services.
Participants of the End Users Training for BCA eagerly listen to the presentation on the functionalities of BCA.
The users were classified as Power Users, Directors, Senior Officials, Budget Analysts, and IT.
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. The BCA was developed to help budget analysts to analyse 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 Unified Accounts Code Structure (UACS)-based data on the Budget Preparation, Legislation, Execution and Accountability phases of the Budget Cycle. It collects data from the following budget systems: Budget Preparation Management System (BPMS), Online Submission of Budget Proposals (OSBP), Unified Reporting System (URS), and
eBudget. The BCA can be utilized to extract, transfer, and load budget data into a single, centralized data warehouse.
The BCA is built on the Enterprise Edition of Pentaho Business Analytics Platform. PFMP contracted the services of Tenth Planet (www.tenthplanet.in) for Pentaho IT Service Providers.
DBM end users take a closer look on the functionalities of BCA. The BCA went live last January 2016.
DBM end users get hands-on training and use BCA during the training.
DBM Undersecretary Luz Cantor (left) receives an orientation on the BCA and its functionalities from Malou Baguio of DBM ICTSS.
Senior officials in DBM like Undersecretary Cantor will have access to the BCA dashboards for a quick overview of the budget and other relevant financial data.