Org Excel logo Title: Organizational Excllence
   About Us   Star image
  | About Us | Contact Information | Site Map | FAQs | Archive Files |

Technology Focused

The Survey of Organizational Excellence  is continuously enhancing the survey experience for all of its participants. This includes improvements in soliciting organizations, collecting survey data, and distributing the results using the latest technologies. With these technologies we can produce more informative results customized for each organization as well as provide a collection of additional reference material for state employees.

Listed below are some of the new features the survey is currently developing and 
implementing. They include a description of the feature, its benefits.

Enhancements

SQL Server:
Since 1993 the survey data were collected in an Access database. As a desktop application it served as a convenient tool to house the datasets and calculate reports. As the number of participants grew, the database could no longer handle the processing of the data in a timely manner nor provide the security needed for Internet access. The database was modified and moved to a SQL Server database during the summer of 2001.

The SQL Server is much faster at compiling the survey results and reports, and can expand as the survey grows in the future. With over one hundred thousand individual records and over one hundred and fifty participating organizations, the new application provides an appropriately robust environment for complex inquiries and reports. As more survey input is collected via the World Wide Web SQL Server provides a more secure and capable storage system.  

Survey Data Management:
Preparing to distribute the survey is a very time consuming event. With the number of organizations participating, it is important to have a practical way of gathering and processing the organizational information such as billing data, additional items submitted, and a myriad of other related data. A data management database and on-line data submittal process is needed to keep the survey process efficient.

The data management database keeps all of the related data for each organization in one place so that we can tell what steps need to be taken to get the organization through the survey process as efficiently as possible. Tying this database to a web-based front end will allow organizations to submit items such as their organization category list as well as view where they are in the survey process.  

Video Clips:
Video clips are created to give informative/encouraging narratives for employees to participate in the survey. Governor Rick Perry's video clip is displayed on the Survey's website. It provides a personal greeting to his viewers and tells about the importance of taking the survey. Organizations also have the opportunity to make video clips for the survey.

This video medium is much more personal and interactive than a typewritten message. All too often organizational life may seem impersonal and leaders may appear remote. The video represents a rapid and direct means for leaders to connect with organizational members. Viewers of video clips may better understand the importance of the survey when they see the Governor or a representative from their organization talking to them. This may improve response rates and the number of organizations that participate, as well as generate more interest from non-state agencies.  A Special Message from Governor Perry...


Reporting System  

Data Reports:
The reporting function has been redesigned to generate survey reports in an HTML format. Previously the reporting function resided in an MS Access database. Since we have moved to a SQL Server database, we are also moving the reporting function away from MS Access. 

Using HTML we have better control over creating reports that all reside in the same file. In previous survey reports, each report section was stored in a separate file. The HTML file will be used to generate PDF files. Also, this is an important step for phasing out the MS Access database altogether.  View an Example Data Report...

Executive Summary Reports:
Summarizing the report results gives organizations a quick way to tell what their strengths and weaknesses are. The summary emphasizes high and  low scoring areas in a graphical format and provides a customized report based on diagnostic criteria. The Executive Summary is designed to help leadership focus upon areas needing attention and action.

This executive summary is a graphical extension of the reporting function. The results are summarized in a way that accentuates the high and low points to give readers an idea of what is going on in the organization, without having to read the entire text based report. Also, the summary will be available on-line so that organizations can reprint their results as they wish as well as always having access to the reports.  View an Example Executive Summary...


The Future

The future of the Survey has several great additions to look forward to. These additions will add to the efficiency of distributing the survey and gathering data, as well as add to the effectiveness of the results and how they relate to the organizations. As technology improves, it is important to utilize it to increase the customization and interactivity of the survey results. In 1993, optical scanning was introduced, as well as 100 percent sampling, using the World Wide Web to distribute results, and discrete datasets provided in Excel file format. The Survey database was moved from a SAS application to Access. In 1995, an html (Internet) survey was introduced. In 1996, a secure server was placed online to permit authorized access to data files. From 1997 through 2001 refinements were added to the scanned instrument, improvements to the LAN handling of data files were made, and the use of the Internet to gather data increased.

Tying Data To Improvements:
The fundamental purpose of the Survey is to improve organizations and assist employees in developing skills. In 2000 the Survey began to work with a pilot set of organizations on state-required Customer Service initiatives and followed, at the request of the Governor, a web-based assessment of progress after the 1999 Governor's Conference on Organizational Excellence. These data were reported by selected agencies in Forum 2001, the new annual report of best practices created from Texas state organizations. Scheduled new Survey products will focus upon training and educational support tools to assist in findings derived from the Survey.

Additional Funding:
Creating and maintaining these new technologies will require additional funding. The benefits are many, and as the survey progresses, we can all be satisfied knowing that we played a part in creating better state agencies with happier, healthier, and more productive employees.