Puerto Rico Department
of Education
- Government

CASE STUDY

Meet Our Customer

 

The Puerto Rico Department of Education (PRDE) is the executive department of the government of Puerto Rico (PR) responsible of managing state operated schools. It is also the largest agency of the executive branch with an annual budget of more than $2.9 billion USD and over 49,498 staff—including more than 31,731 teachers. The PRDE is also the third largest school district in the United States by enrollment with over 379,818 students and over 1,332 schools.

CUSTOMER

SERVICES PROVIDED

Challenge

 

Puerto Rico’s (PR) economy is not blossoming at the moment. As 45,000 inhabitants flee to the US every year in search of better jobs and opportunities, the island sinks under the weight of $72 billion in accumulated debt. As a solution to PR’s crisis, hedge fund economists proposed to the government, in a report released on July 2015, to reduce the number of teachers to decrease budget spending. According to statistics, education spending rose 39% to $4.8bn over the last decade, while enrollment fell 25% to 376,000.

The PRDE was struggling to manage decreased enrollment, poor infrastructure, and academic underperformance. Key problems were:

  • Data quality issues were causing problems in the federal reporting submission process risking millions of dollars of PR’s educational funds.

  • Employees were dependent on the IT Department in order to obtain any data set or report, impacting significantly the agency’s daily processes and productivity.

  • Operations visibility was lacking and employees/management were relying on data fishing from multiple core systems running on different databases and platforms.

  • Most reports were done manually, which promoted process fragmentation, human errors, and loss of information.

Solution

 

These challenges represented a huge problem since government leaders and information workers were unable to advance the agency’s strategic agenda due to the inaccessibility of the data. Thus, the PRDE identified the need to build a data driven solution to gain insights that could help them leverage strategies to improve operations.


Nagnoi’s solution consisted in building an enterprise cloud-based Data Warehouse in SQL Server 2014 running in a distributed infrastructure environment with Azure Virtual Machines (VMs). The Data Warehouse extracts structured and unstructured data from more than 10 sources of internal and external information (financial, enrollment, drop-outs, attendance, students’ performance, special education, among others).


Also, an analytics and collaborative layer was developed using SQL Server Analysis Services and SharePoint 2013 to provide insights and collaboration to keep teams working in-sync. Additionally, mobile reports and dashboards were built using Power BI delivering valuable information to the agency’s executive team.

Cloud-based Data Warehouse, Analytics, Mobile Reports and Dashboards

Puerto Rico Department of Education (PRDE) 

Benefits

 

The DE now has a holistic view of the public education system to execute data-driven strategies to improve operations and, therefore, the quality of education. Impact created has been:

  • Insights were key for the development of a restructuring plan that will help the agency achieve a new operational structure to reduce 16% of the bureaucracy of the department with estimated annual savings between $7-$17 million.

  • With more accurate numbers on schools, socioeconomic levels, proficiency, and enrollment, leaders were able to restructure the education grade levels of 147 schools to address drop outs in school transitions.

  • Automating federal reports enabled the agency to submit them on time, complying with federal requirements without jeopardizing millions in federal funds.

  • Government worker’s productivity increased by more than 100% (the time it took to obtain integrated data decreased from 48 hours to seconds).

  • With automated reports, the agency will save thousands of dollars per year in external consultants.

  • Having a single data repository improved data quality and data governance issues, keeping all departments working in-sync.

  • The financial planning and budgeting process is now manageable due to easy, accurate, updated, and timely reports.

  • Since users are self-sufficient creating their own reports, the IT Department can focus on value-added tasks around innovation.

  • The agency can now monitor the proficiency of students in each school to identify how to distribute their resources adequately.

SIZE

Third largest school district in the US by enrollment with over 379,818 students and over 1,332 schools

CUSTOMER WEBSITE

de.gobierno.pr/

Lydiana Lopez

Acting Director of Statistics Unit

"Having a holistic view of the agency’s data has allowed us to develop specific action plans that will help us improve our operational structure in order to focus our efforts around the students’ and schools’ needs and be more agile."

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San Juan, PR 00918

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Oakland, CA 94612

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