Home Office is a United Kingdom (UK) ministerial department responsible for immigration and passports, border control, drug policy, crime policy, and counter-terrorism. Its mission is to ensure visible, responsive, and accountable policing throughout the country.
With numerous business units, Home Office had developed multiple, disparate information systems, leaving it with information silos, inconsistent data quality, and no single view of key financial, human resources, procurement, and operations information. Home Office had a UK government goal to reduce its annual budget by US$544 million (£350 million) per year, starting in 2013. It needed to improve reporting to get a clear overview of its current position, reduce costs, and enable informed decision-making.
Home Office implemented Oracle Financial Analytics, Oracle Human Resources Analytics, and Oracle Procurement and Spend Analytics running on Oracle Business Intelligence Foundation Suite to deliver accurate, trusted, information in dashboard format to more than 7,000 managers throughout the organization.
With detailed and relevant financial, human resources, and procurement information drawn from a centralized data source, Home Office has already realized substantial cost savings totalling more than US$12.4 million (£8 million). Home Office also uses Oracle Business Intelligence to support its efforts to reduce its corporate support wage bill.
Oracle Business Intelligence helps Home Office to quickly identify areas where it can realize savings with more detailed, relevant, and accurate human resources (HR) and financial information, such as budgets, headcount, and sickness records. Of more than 29,000 staff across the organization, 7,000 managers have access to dashboard reports and receive monthly e-mail prompts summarizing their HR and financial positions.
Home Office plans to improve spans of management control from one manager per three employees to one manager per eight employees, and hopes to save between 3% and 6% on procurement costs year over year. In addition, it aims to increase the number of staff that each HR officer oversees to 100. Oracle Business Intelligence is one of the tools that will help Home Office meet these ambitious targets by providing more accurate data to aid decision-making and will help to save 20% of revenue budget over the next four years. The solution helps Home Office save time, drive down costs, and contribute to the organization’s broader objective to save US$544 million (£350 million) per year.
“The presentation of data with Oracle Business Intelligence is far more accessible than before. Wider deployment of this approach has developed a culture that is more expense aware, which has driven greater management analysis of all expenditures, ranging from uniform orders to approval of training courses,” said Jason Moore-Read, border force, central region (Midlands and Wales), corporate support, Home Office.
The Home Office staff previously entered and rekeyed HR and finance data for management reports. Prior to the Oracle implementation, the organization employed approximately 200 people to generate manual reports but has been able to reduce headcount by shifting focus from report production to data analysis. This change is in line with the Home Office transformation agenda that supports self-service reporting for managers. The overall cost of producing manual reports has decreased by US$8 million (£5.2 million).
“Oracle Business Intelligence has made our lives so much easier. We can now complete some tasks that previously took a half day or longer in just minutes, and we have been able to reduce the number of staff and produce even more than before,” said Dave Yaffa, planning and management support unit, enforcement and crime group, Home Office.
Home Office has also substantially reduced time spent producing expense reports, such as breakdowns on taxi usage, overseas travel payments, or out-of-pocket expenses. Typically, employees can now develop reports—which previously took up to two hours to create—within five to ten minutes.
“Previously, if we wanted to know who had spent within an account code, we had to manually look through all the entries, pull out the information, enter it into a spreadsheet, and send it to the relevant manager. This could take four hours for a large cost center. Now, expense report approvals take 10 minutes,” said Tracy Dudman, border force, north (finance), Home Office.
To focus more on performance, Home Office required consistent, accurate, and easily accessible performance data. With Oracle Business Intelligence, Home Office has a much clearer picture of its corporate data, overspend, underspend, and budget controls. It can produce reports much faster than before, and employees and management can trust that the data is correct.
With significant improvements in data quality and reporting consistency across the organization, 7,000 managers now have self-service access to budgetary information and can quickly identify trends in sickness and expenses and risks around budget versus actual figures to support their staff more effectively.
The main financial priorities for Home Office were to improve financial visibility and decision-making support to the business. Oracle Business Intelligence helps Home Office to manage uncertainties better—such as changes in service demands as a result of social and macro-economic changes impacting global travel and migration—with improved budgeting, planning, and scenario modelling.
“In terms of finance, Oracle Business Intelligence provides a much clearer view of our command budgetary position. We can now quickly view our year-to-date position where we would previously have needed to run reports and compare data across different ledgers and Microsoft Excel spreadsheets. There has been a substantial savings in time spent on analysis, but more importantly, it has enabled us to bid for the forthcoming financial year with far greater confidence in our predicted spend,” said Tony Brand, border force, central region (Midlands and Wales), corporate support, Home Office.
Staffing levels can quickly affect service quality at airports and ports where individuals entering the country are processed. With the help of Oracle Business Intelligence, managers can immediately identify staffing challenges and address them quickly. Reports flag areas of concern or those that require management attention, such as cost of employee absence and sickness.
With the introduction of Oracle Human Resources Analytics, access to monthly management information is much easier. Staff produces a greater number of reports faster and deliver them in a relevant, comprehensible, and useful way. Managers receive regular e-mail alerts in a user-friendly format containing key HR metrics, enabling them to quickly make more-informed staffing decisions to support the business.
“We can now identify patterns of absence, particularly those that are stress-related, much more quickly and help support the business in responding to trade unions’ concerns,” said Dave Cupis, border force, central services, Home Office.
Following its successful implementation, Home Office elevated the status of Oracle Business Intelligence to a business-critical application, demonstrating its value and importance to the organization. Home Office is undertaking a business intelligence (BI) infrastructure refresh which involves creating more BI environments to enable staff to work more on development and resolve issues faster. The refresh also supports new demand from the business, in particular for new implementations of operational data analytics and Oracle’s Hyperion applications.
With operational data analytics, Home Office will be able to collect, collate, and report on data combinations to provide visibility into cost and productivity of key operational activities, such as border control and enforcement activities. Hyperion will help to improve budget and resource planning.
The growth in BI requirements increases the load on hardware and Home Office has purchased two Oracle Exalytics In-Memory Machines to support existing and new demands.
Home Office chose Oracle to rapidly deliver BI to 7,000 managers. The system needed to provide a self-service platform, be easy and flexible to use, and integrate with Home Office’s existing enterprise resource planning system—Oracle E-Business Suite. Speed to deployment and the flexibility to make future changes were also key decision-making factors. Home Office considered alternative options, but no others could deliver the same capability.
In particular, Home Office liked the dashboard interface for Oracle Business Intelligence Foundation Suite, which automatically provides personalized reports to guide managers and enables end-users to find answers quickly.
Home Office used out-of-the-box Oracle Business Intelligence applications with minimal customization, which, together with prebuilt connectors for Oracle E-Business Suite, were key enablers in completing the implementation and delivering detailed information to 7,000 managers in just 13 months.
“Oracle Business Intelligence enables managers to access and act upon information quickly and confidently. Dashboards, giving all managers a single view of the resources they are responsible for, have made it possible to compare and boost performance. The ability to quickly produce reports to respond to new or unique requirements have made the organization better equipped to identify and respond to change,” explained Matt Vale, head of business intelligence team for the Home Office’s Adelphi Services Unit.
Home Office asked Oracle to present a business case to demonstrate the benefits and the return on investment from a new BI platform. Oracle carried out a short pilot with Home Office systems integrator Fujitsu Services to show significant savings could be made across finance, human resources, and procurement departments.
Following the successful pilot, business stakeholders saw the benefits and understood the value of BI to the organization. This provided Home Office with a sense of ownership and confidence in the project.
Oracle Consulting worked with Fujitsu Services and Home Office’s internal shared service department, Adelphi Services, to carry out the implementation. The onsite team deployed Oracle Human Resources Analytics first, followed by Oracle Financial Analytics, and Oracle Procurement and Spend Analytics. The team delivered BI access to 7,000 managers across the organization within just 13 months.
Home Office is now upgrading to improve usability and interactivity. New functionality, such as visualization tools, will further enable managers to quickly identify any problems or opportunities at a glance.
Advice from Home Office
Fujitsu Services and Oracle Consulting worked with Home Office Adelphi Services as a combined and integrated team to deliver a successful implementation of Oracle Business Intelligence. Fujitsu Services is Home Office’s systems integrator, running and managing its internal IT systems.