Alameda County Social Services Agency

Smarter Planet Leadership Series Video: Bringing business values to social services

Published on 17-Jan-2013

Alameda County Social Services Agency


Deployment country:
United States

Big Data & Analytics, Big Data & Analytics: Operations/Fraud/Threats, C-Suite Framework, Smarter Planet


At the Alameda County Social Services Agency, Don Edwards is leading an effort to bring business practices—like effi ciency, short lines and happy customers— to the realm of social services.

Business need:
Alameda has witnessed a series of challenging trends, the most prominent of which is the need to do more with less. It’s doing so by giving its caseworkers the tools to be more proactive in helping their clients get the assistance they need. Leveraging IBM Cognos business intelligence software, Alameda can get a seamless “lifecycle” of view of its customers’ interaction with social service resources. Instead of a patchwork, the agency’s departments can coordinate their service delivery, while at the same time removing the gaps between systems where fraud can thrive.

Show, don’t tell. In selling the agency’s executives on the merits of the proposed solution, Don Edwards ended up taking the most direct route—deploying a working proof-of-concept that lived up to the maxim ‘seeing is believing.’ “From that point on, the executives went from skeptical leaders to champions of the project.” — Don Edwards, Assistant Director of Administration and Information Services, the Alameda County Social Services Agency

• $11 million in direct savings through fraud and waste reduction • Gives managers and caseworkers a deep, real-time understanding of case and program status, enabling them to find the best assistance programs for each situation • Reveals relationships between benefit recipients and programs, helping to eliminate waste, fraud and redundancy • Generates reports in minutes instead of weeks or months— allowing caseworkers to apply their expertise by trying “what if” scenarios based on current data

Products and services used

IBM products and services that were used in this case study.

Storage: DS5100

Cognos Business Intelligence

GBS BAO: Business Analytics and Optimization Strategy, Information Agenda Engagement