REVIEWER: Yolanda V. Smith, IT specialist, Court Services and Offender Supervision Agency for the District of Columbia.


BACKGROUND: The Court Services and Offender Supervision Agency (CSOSA) is an independent federal agency responsible for supervising probationers and parolees and providing a host of services to offenders, the criminal justice community and the general public. The agency monitors offender activity using a custom application that tracks the probationers and parolees who are under its supervision. The agency’s case management system is the Supervision and Management Automated Record Tracking (SMART) System. It is a custom software application developed in house on .NET technology, and its database is populated with comprehensive offender, supervision and service delivery data. Currently, the SMART application assists the agency’s supervision officers by electronically storing data about the offenders and triggering a host of automatic alerts and notifications when an offender fits the profile of someone in jeopardy of relapsing into crime. The agency’s enterprise data warehouse uses SMART as its primary data source, with a secondary source being relevant captured offender data shared by other criminal justice entities.


HARDWARE PLATFORMS: Windows 2003 platform, with SQL Server 2000 as the database management system.


PROBLEM SOLVED: SAS Enterprise Data Integration Server eliminated delivery delays and the high costs associated with piecing together nonintegrated technologies by providing a single, integrated solution. It also eliminated problems caused by inaccurate, contradictory and inconsistent data by embedding data quality within CSOSA’s data integration processes and providing a single comprehensive view of offender, supervision and service delivery data.


PRODUCT FUNCTIONALITY: SAS Enterprise Data Integration Server’s capabilities include advanced connectivity and metadata management, data cleansing and enrichment, extract, transform and load (ETL), migration and synchronization, and data warehousing.


STRENGTHS: One of the most useful features of SAS Enterprise Data Integration Server is how easy it is to automatically create the job to populate target data warehouse tables. In addition, SAS Enterprise Data Integration Server is tightly integrated with the data cleansing and enrichment tools provided by DataFlux, a wholly owned SAS subsidiary. In general, the user interface of SAS Enterprise Data Integration Server is very user-friendly. SAS Enterprise Data Integration Server provides source code control. The centralized multiuser repository allows developers to check files in and out when they are ready to modify and replace them. In this way, only one developer at a time works on the same ETL process flow, and modifications to ETL flows are tracked. This is source code control at its best. Overall, SAS Enterprise Data Integration Server is a “SMART” choice, in more ways than one.


WEAKNESSES: Additional advanced capabilities are available to experienced SAS ETL developers that are not yet available through the GUI.


SELECTION CRITERIA: SAS Enterprise Data Integration Server was selected because it conveniently integrates with the suite of SAS tools that the agency uses to develop and deliver sophisticated analytical reports. The agency’s analytical reports, developed by CSOSA’s Office of Research and Evaluation, uses data from data warehousing tables to deliver a 360-degree view of CSOSA’s business. These reports allow employees to examine their performance, specifically identifying areas where they are meeting performance benchmarks while identifying gaps in service delivery so they can determine how best to make midcourse corrections. The process is totally transparent, allowing full data access for everyone from executives to line staff. As a result, executives are able to make more intelligent decisions.


DELIVERABLES: SAS Enterprise Data Integration Server includes integrated data quality components provided by DataFlux.


VENDOR SUPPORT: SAS consultants really know their products. Mentoring by a SAS consultant helped us get the most benefit from SAS Enterprise Data Integration Server while meeting our deadline to go into production.


DOCUMENTATION: The documentation was useful and easy to follow. When the documentation did not contain the desired details, the SAS consultant provided them.


SAS Enterprise Data Integration Server
SAS Campus Drive
Cary, NC 27513
(919) 677-8000

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