Allegheny County Data Warehouse
Improving Decision Making Across Agencies
More jurisdictions nationwide are recognizing the value of collecting and using data across all social service agencies. This coordination allows agencies to consolidate information, eliminate duplication, and most important, achieve better outcomes for the children and families they serve. A promising example of this coordinated approach to service delivery is the Allegheny County Department of Human Services Delivery Warehouse (DHSDW) in Pittsburgh.
Created in partnership with the private sector, local universities, and other community stakeholders, DHSDW is a central repository of 15 million client records, 17 internal sources, and 8 outside sources. Using unique identifiers, the data warehouse matches information with DHS-contracted providers and programs to understand and coordinate services. The data can be analyzed to produce aggregate or group information and client-specific, provider-specific, or program-specific reports. Authorized DHS staff can also use the data to identify and coordinate services for consumers served by multiple program offices.
DHDSW has become a significant community resource, encouraging partnerships and research projects with RAND, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Carnegie Mellon University, the University of Pittsburgh, and the U.S. Department of Justice. With community support, DHS has implemented a public website with up-to-date information on DHS services and other community resources.
Allegheny County DHS soon will roll out a department-wide master client registration system to allow immediate updates and real-time reporting from the data warehouse.
--Marc Cherna, Director, Allegheny County Department of Human Services
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