Page 46 - FCW, November/December 2021
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rising star
Jessica Wong
Business Analyst
Office of Personnel Management
Jessica Wong manages the Office of Personnel Management’s USA Performance software, a web-based tool that helps agencies automate appraisals for Senior Executive Service and non-SES employees.The program seeks to give agencies a common software package to cus- tomize and ultimately automate performance management. More than 60 agencies have adopted the software to date.
As the product leader, Wong is responsible for the long-term vision and everyday particulars of USA Performance. Her colleagues say she has moved the software out of the transactional realm by maintaining a cadence of updates that steadily add functionality to the program while ensuring that the software adheres to all legal and regulatory requirements.
USA Performance is meant to be an umbrella-style product that
can be tailored to the needs of different agencies, which take various approaches to performance management based on their employee populations and missions. Wong’s team of business analysts, developers and testers must account for that wide range of approaches while also designing the web-based tool to support and encourage best practices.
Wong meets with customers on a regular basis to discuss any issues with the software and leads formal requirements-gathering sessions
to gain a better understanding of how agencies conduct performance management. Her work has been essential to moving agencies away from inefficient paper-based performance management processes and toward an interoperable, governmentwide, web-based approach.
46 November/December 2021
and report economic insights into the nation’s construction activity. Specifically, the volume of data and short turnaround times have made it challenging for the bureau to collect and analyze information from 20,000 jurisdictions so it can issue monthly reports on new housing starts.
To take advantage of new sources of third-party data and provide more granular information for those monthly reports, Census officials worked with Reveal Global Consulting to design and automate approaches for data collection, analysis and dissemination. The solution aggregates unstructured data from the bureau and numerous external sources, which is then fed into an analytic pro- cess automation platform from Alteryx for examination.
By applying machine learning technol- ogy to satellite imagery, for example, the solution has learned to automatically iden-
Machine learning has expanded the depth and breadth of data collection.
tify and classify new construction sites and changes to existing ones in an area equivalent to 11 million football fields. It also gathers permit data for single-family homes and census shapefiles, which are formatted for use in geographic informa- tion systems.
Machine learning algorithms filter, for- mat and aggregate data; conduct spatial analysis; and evaluate the coverage and accuracy of third-party data, including images. The solution then merges all the data and images, creates visualizations and updates the economic indicator.
The solution has expanded the depth and breadth of data collection and improved the accuracy and quality of the reports by automating the repetitive, error-prone tasks that had been involved in producing the construction indicator. As a result, the bureau’s analysts can devote

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