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DeKalb County: Centralized report development, version control and change management

DeKalb County is located in the north-central portion of the U.S. state of Georgia. The county population is close to 700,000, making it the fourth most populous county in the state of Georgia.

DeKalb County Government has been an Oracle E-Business Suite user since 2004 with more than 600 active Oracle application users across 41 departments.  They have invested heavily in fine-tuning their EBS implementation to meet the unique requirements of public administration accounting and reporting.

Blitz Report™ and DeKalb County at a glance:

  • Users are happy to have the ability to run their own reports and have them delivered in native Excel format

  • Integrated version control and change management means faster deployment of reports

  • Easily created and enhanced reports for internal audit function

DeKalb County Georgia Courthouse

The Challenge – Centralized reporting and change management

DeKalb County’s IT team and “Super Users” had developed more than 90 customized SQLs to address the unique reporting requirements of a government institution. These SQLs started as “ad hoc” research tools, and over time became an integral part of the county’s operational processing.

The execution of these SQL scripts was by request only. A user would submit a request to the IT department for a report. The analyst, developer or “SuperUser” would locate the SQL script, run the execution, retrieve the dataset, convert it to Excel, and return the results to the end-user.

With the impending retirement of the main author of these scripts, the IT management team recognized the risks of having these SQL scripts outside of their control and change management process. Their potential loss presented a risk to organizational continuity, which needed to be addressed immediately.

“We are eight months into our Blitz Report journey and have come to rely on the tool for all our ad hoc requests.”

Anne E. Cooper, IT Systems Architect, DeKalb County Government

Why Blitz Report™

In 2016, DeKalb implemented OBIEE, however, users found it complex and difficult to create ad hoc reports. They began to search for a new Oracle E-Business Suite reporting solution and after researching several costly alternatives, DeKalb County’s team discovered Blitz Report.

One of the features of Blitz Report that immediately stood out to DeKalb’s evaluation team was the ability for end-users to securely run their reports directly from within Oracle EBS and have it delivered as a nicely formatted Excel file.

Blitz Report’s central report repository with integrated version control and change management capabilities also meant that the IT team could achieve their goal of centralizing all ad hoc SQL queries into a central, managed location. In addition, using Blitz Report as their primary reporting and report development tool improved their database security as it meant that there was no need to grant SuperUsers access to database tools such as SQL!

“Blitz Report’s price point was very attractive, we could afford to give the tool a try.”

Anne E. Cooper, IT Systems Architect, DeKalb County Government

The Results

The benefits of installing Blitz Report were immediate.

DeKalb County found the installation process simple and Enginatics’ on-line learning resources, such as the detailed manual, education videos, and FAQ empowering. After a brief period of testing and completing a “proof of concept”, they deployed Blitz Report immediately in their live environment.

One of the key drivers of success for any new IT initiative is support from the end-users. DeKalb County’s end-users liked that Blitz Report allowed them to run their own queries without needing to contact the IT Department, and they loved that their reports were delivered directly to Excel.

DeKalb County’s IT team found Blitz Report’s automatic version control was a valuable addition to their existing change management processes, and the embedded Flexfield functionality allowed them to tailor it to their requirements. DeKalb used Flexfields to track important information such as Business Owner, Developer, Tester, and Approval Date as part of each report definition. Having this information included in the report, allowed DeKalb to create and publish reports directly in their live production environment.

DeKalb’s Internal Audit Department could also see the benefits of Blitz Report and began requesting several new reports and enhancements to some Oracle Standard reports. The IA team wanted to add Oracle Record History (WHO) columns* – and all their reports needed to be delivered in proper Excel format. The IT team used Blitz Report to create these scripts to their specifications, test against the Oracle standard reports and deploy to production in just a few days. This turnaround time was surprisingly fast considering that their former development process would be expected to take a minimum of 6 weeks using BI Publisher or other developer tools. Considering that DeKalb has just one Oracle Developer on staff and they were already committed to mission-critical projects, creating these audit reports using outside consultants would have been prohibitively expensive

*Oracle Record History (WHO) columns are: created_by, creation_date, last_updated_by, last_update_date, last_update_login

You can discover more about this in the Oracle Developers guide here

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