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.
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
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
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...
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
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.
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