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News | Feb. 23, 2022

CAR Dashboard release provides data visualization on demand

By Contractor Effectiveness Capability team

A new informational dashboard, released Feb. 20, gives leaders across the agency a new tool to aggregate and visualize corrective action request data on demand.

The CAR dashboard, which is the agency’s latest Modernization and Analytics Initiative, or MAI, tool deployment, transforms Product Data Reporting and Evaluation Program data into actionable business information.

This citizen-developed dashboard tool builds on the immense success of data aggregated in PDREP, the agency’s automated logistics information system, which consists of a suite of applications that include current and past CARs.  

“CARs are issued to contractors when they are in violation of a contractual requirement,” said Niclas Chavez, Western Regional Command’s engineering and analysis director and lead on the integrated product team that developed the dashboard.

By looking at a corporation with detailed information, he said agency leaders are better positioned to address contractor performance. “The dashboard’s job is not to give you answers but to help you think critically and ask the right questions,” said Chavez.

The ability to visualize trends makes this tool unique.

“This CAR Dashboard is much more robust than a typical system query and reporting tool,” said Matthew Lupone, executive director of DCMA’s Technical Directorate. “It provides the capability to seamlessly aggregate data to help understand trends and systemic root causes.  The business intelligence data that is captured and trended allows the user to turn data into actionable information.”

Lupone, who also serves as the manager of the larger Business Capability Framework’s Contractor Effectiveness Capability team, said his CE capability IPT team “built the tool with the field in mind.”

Capability teams often form smaller IPTs to support the development of projects with urgency.

Since the 14 members of this IPT team came from CMOs, centers, regional commands, and headquarters offices, they recognized the importance of getting feedback from the field during early testing of the tool.

“When Central, East and West Region commanders and directors were polled, the data showed that the knowledge gained from the dashboard fills an information gap experienced by more than 50% of CMOs,” said Michael Bono, IPT member and quality assurance and engineering director at DCMA Manassas. “Ninety percent of our respondents said the tool provides value and efficiency.”

The feedback from survey results helped bolster their ideas but to ensure the tool’s successful roll out, Bono and the IPT team trained key users in the field through train the trainer sessions.

These key users will become subject matter experts and will be available to field personnel via the Contractor Effectiveness SharePoint site to help answer any questions about the tool and information gleaned.

Bono, who helped build the tool using data visualization application, Power BI, said this recent innovation was made possible through the agency’s recent investment in Defense Enterprise Office Solution applications found in DoD 365.

“The CAR dashboard showcases the power of citizen developers who can quickly use modern enterprise tools like Power BI to turn data into meaningful information,” said Karen Schultheis, acting executive director of the agency’s Information Technology Directorate. “It demonstrates the kind of innovation delivered in an agile way that DCMA’s MAI is intended to achieve.

The tool is emblematic of how DCMA Director Lt. Gen. David G. Bassett envisions the agency’s modernization.

During his January Town Hall meeting, Bassett said the agency’s progression toward modernization should consistently develop tools like the dashboard, which supports cross-functional information sharing. He said that modernization by 2025 doesn’t mean launching innovative tools in 2025 but instead developing data-driven decision making and analysis tools every six months.

Employees can click here to see the CAR Dashboard demonstration video.

The Contractor Effectiveness team’s CAR Dashboard site provides additional information: DCMA-BCF-Contractor_Effectiveness - Home (sharepoint-mil.us)

To locate a regional point of contact who can answer questions for a local contract management office, go to the following link: CAR Dashboard Help (sharepoint-mil.us)

For all sites, Common Access Card log in is required. 

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Defense Contract Management Agency
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