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Tuesday, April 15, 2014

IT Dashboard FAQ

    Background

  1. What is the IT Dashboard?
  2. Why was the IT Dashboard launched?
  3. Who is the intended audience for the IT Dashboard?
  4. What information does the IT Dashboard display?
  5. What is the Exhibit 53?
  6. What is the Exhibit 300?
  7. CIO Evaluations

  8. How are CIO evaluations determined?
  9. How often should an Agency CIO enter the Evaluation for an investment?
  10. Contracts

  11. What kind of contract information is available in the IT Dashboard?
  12. How often should contracts be updated?
  13. What is the meaning of a red “X” on the contracts page?
  14. What data structure should agencies use to help identify contract numbers in USASpending?
  15. An interagency agreement is similar to a contract. Should I also report those with my contracts information?
  16. Cost, Schedule, Performance

  17. What is a project?
  18. Should FTEs costs be included in the Project/Activities costs?
  19. What is operational performance?
  20. What is the reporting period for performance metrics?
  21. How does the IT Dashboard Color Coding System work?
  22. How are the cost calculations determined?
  23. How are the schedule calculations determined?
  24. What determines whether an investment’s status is "Current" or "Update Required"?
  25. What do "spending" amounts on the IT Dashboard mean?
  26. Submitting Data to the IT Dashboard

  27. Who can update agency information on the IT Dashboard?
  28. How do agencies submit data to the IT Dashboard?
  29. What is the difference between updates, rebaselines, replans, and other operations?
  30. Data Feeds

  31. How are the Exhibit 53 and Exhibit 300 data feed elements populated?
  32. What data feeds are made available to the public?
  33. What data feed fields are only updated on a nightly basis?
  34. Handling Sensitive Information

  35. Does IT Dashboard show the public all data submitted by agencies?
  36. Should agencies redact sensitive contract data in submissions to OMB to avoid release to the public?
  37. Current and Upcoming Features

  38. What information is found on the portfolio page?
  39. What information is included on the investment dashboard?
  40. What information is displayed on the Trends chart?
  41. What is a Treemap?
  42. What information is displayed on the Data Quality Report?
  43. How can I access earlier editions of the IT Dashboard?
  44. Are there any new features planned for the IT Dashboard?

  1. What is the IT Dashboard?

    On June 1, 2009 the Obama Administration launched the IT Dashboard. Through the IT Dashboard, Federal agencies and the public have the ability to view details of Federal information technology (IT) investments online and to track their progress over time. The IT Dashboard displays data received from agency Exhibit 53 and Exhibit 300 reports, including general information on over 7,000 Federal IT investments and detailed data for over 700 of those investments that agencies classify as "major." Agency Chief Information Officers (CIO) are responsible for evaluating and updating select data on a regular basis, which is accomplished through interfaces provided by the IT Dashboard.

  2. Why was the IT Dashboard launched?

    The IT Dashboard shines light onto the performance and spending of IT investments across the Federal Government. If a project is over budget or behind schedule, you can see by how much money and time, and you can see the person responsible--not just contact information but also their picture. The IT Dashboard gives the public access to the same tools and analysis that the government uses to oversee the performance of the Federal IT investments. The transparency and analysis features of the IT Dashboard make it harder for underperforming projects to go unnoticed, and easier for the government to focus action on the projects where it’s needed most.

  3. Who is the intended audience for the IT Dashboard?

    The IT Dashboard is a website enabling federal agencies, industry, the general public and other stakeholders to view details of federal information technology investments.

  4. What information does the IT Dashboard display?

    The IT Dashboard displays a subset of data from agency Exhibit 53 and Exhibit 300 reports, and agency updated activity information, agency CIO evaluations, and other investment information reported by agencies. For a list of data feeds available to the public on the IT Dashboard, see "Publicly Available Data Feeds".

    The following 27 agencies have data available on the IT Dashboard:

    • Department of Agriculture
    • Department of Commerce
    • Department of Defense
    • Department of Education
    • Department of Energy
    • Department of Health and Human Services
    • Department of Homeland Security
    • Department of Housing and Urban Development
    • Department of the Interior
    • Department of Justice
    • Department of Labor
    • Department of State
    • Department of Transportation
    • Department of the Treasury
    • Department of Veterans Affairs
    • U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID)
    • U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
    • Environmental Protection Agency
    • General Services Administration
    • National Aeronautics and Space Administration
    • National Archives and Records Administration
    • National Science Foundation
    • Nuclear Regulatory Commission
    • Office of Personnel Management
    • Small Business Administration
    • Smithsonian Institution
    • Social Security Administration
  5. What is the Exhibit 53?

    The Exhibit 53 is composed of four parts:

    • Exhibit 53A: "Agency IT Investment Portfolio," which includes IT investment budget and architecture information,
    • Exhibit 53B: "Agency IT Security Portfolio," which includes a summary of agency and bureau IT security information, including IT security costs,
    • Exhibit 53C: "Agency Cloud Computing Portfolio", which includes IT investment budget information by cloud computing deployment model and service model,
    • Exhibit 53D: "Agency IT Reductions and Reinvestments" (see OMB M-12-13), The IT Dashboard collects data for the Exhibit 53A, B, and C.
  6. What is the Exhibit 300?

    The Exhibit 300 is composed of two parts:

    • Exhibit 300A: "IT Capital Asset Summary," which includes Investment Detail, Summary of Funding and Acquisition/Contract Strategy.
    • Exhibit 300B: "Performance Measurement Report," which includes Projects, Activities, Project Risk, Operational Performance and Operational Risk.
  7. How are CIO evaluations determined?

    The Agency Chief Information Officer (CIO) rates each investment based on his or her best judgment, using a set of pre-established criteria. As a rule, the Evaluation should reflect the CIO's assessment of the risk and the investment's ability to accomplish its goals. CIOs should consult with appropriate stakeholders in making their evaluation, such as Chief Acquisition Officers, program managers, etc.

    The following factors and supporting examples should be used to inform the Evaluation:

    Evaluation Factor Supporting Examples
    Risk Management
    • Risk Management Strategy Exists
    • Risks are well understood by senior leadership
    • Risk log is current and complete
    • Risks are clearly prioritized
    • Mitigation plans are in place to address risks
    Requirements Management
    • Investment objectives are clear and scope is controlled
    • Requirements are complete, clear and validated
    • Appropriate stakeholders are involved in requirements definition
    Contractor Oversight
    • Acquisition strategy is defined and managed via an Integrated Program Team
    • Agency receives key reports, such as earned value reports, current status, and risk logs
    • Agency is providing appropriate management of contractors such that the government is monitoring, controlling, and mitigating the impact of any adverse contract performance
    Historical Performance
    • No significant deviations from planned cost and schedule
    • Lessons learned and best practices are incorporated and adopted
    Human Capital
    • Qualified management and execution team for the IT investments and/or contracts supporting the investment
    • Low turnover rate
    Other
    • Other factors that the CIO deems important to forecasting future success

    Evaluation ratings are based on a five-point risk scale, as follows:

    Evaluation
    (By Agency CIO)
    Color
    5-Low Risk Green
    4-Moderately Low Risk Green
    3-Medium Risk Yellow
    2-Moderately High Risk Red
    1-High Risk Red
  8. How often should an Agency CIO enter the Evaluation for an investment?

    The agency CIO should update the rating as soon as new information becomes available, affecting the assessment of a given investment.

  9. What kind of contract information is available in the IT Dashboard?

    Agencies provide contract information on "Awarded Contracts" and "Pre-awarded, Post-Solicitation" to the IT Dashboard. Any "Future Planned Contract" or "Sub-contract Award" is not required to be reported, however an agency may provide information on "Future Planned Contracts" or "Closed Contracts" if desired. Future Contracts will not be made public as this information is "Procurement Sensitive".

  10. How often should contracts be updated?

    Contracts should be updated as they are awarded. Both, the FAR and the Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act of 2006 require reporting of these contracts within thirty days of award. As soon as this information is available on USAspending.gov, agencies should update the IT Dashboard. The IT Dashboard links to www.USAspending.gov for contract information.

  11. What is the meaning of a red “X” on the contracts page?

    Each contract submitted to the IT Dashboard that is not matched by the agency with USAspending.gov is clearly indicated with a red "X" symbol (symbol) as an invalid Contract Number. The following fields are used to determine a match:

    • Procurement Instrument Identifier
      (PIID)
    • Contracting Agency ID (if different than the Funding Agency)
    • Indefinite Delivery Vehicle Procurement Instrument Identifier
      (IDV PIID)
    • Indefinite Delivery Vehicle Agency Identifier
      (IDV Agency ID)
    • Submitting Agency ID (derived as the agency of the investment pertaining to the contract)

    If a contract match with USASpending is not found based on the data provided by the agency, the IT Dashboard displays the red “X” symbol with the following note: “Agency-provided contract information does not match with a www.USASpending.gov record.”

  12. What data structure should agencies use to help identify contract numbers in USASpending?

    To assist in the linkage of contract and task order numbers from the Exhibit 300 Contracts Table to USASpending, agencies should provide the following information to the IT Dashboard for "Contract/Task Order Numbers," based on the FPDS-NG data requirements (as specified in the FPDS-NG Data Element Dictionary https://www.fpds.gov/downloads/Version_1.4.2_specs/FPDSNG_DataDictionary_V1.4.2.pdf).

    Part of Indefinite Delivery Vehicle (IDV)? Procurement Instrument Identifier (PIID) Example
    No Data Element 1A (NTE 50 characters) "00063200203DNBCHC020042"
    Yes Data Element 1A, and the Referenced PIID, Data Element 1C (NTE 100 characters) "GS09Q08DN0165-IDV-GS10F0216N"
  13. An interagency agreement is similar to a contract. Should I also report those with my contracts information?

    No, Agencies are not required to report interagency agreements to the IT Dashboard. However, OMB expects agencies to report all interagency agreements as contributions in the Exhibit 53.

  14. What is a project?

    A project is a temporary endeavor undertaken to accomplish a unique product or service with a defined start and end point and specific objectives that, when attained, signify completion. Projects are undertaken for development, modernization, enhancement, disposal, or maintenance of an IT asset. Projects are composed of activities. Agencies should provide an update to project activities and operational performance when the activities occur or when performance metrics are measured; atleast once per calendar month.

  15. Should FTEs costs be included in the Project/Activities costs?

    Yes, Full Time Equivalent (FTE) costs should be included in the Projects/Activities costs.

  16. What is operational performance?

    Operational performance identifies performance targets for major investments. Each metric indicates how often actual measurements will be reported (monthly, quarterly or semi-annually) and provides a unit of measure. There are two essential types of operations metrics:

    Results Specific: A minimum of two metrics must be provided, which measure the effectiveness of the investment in delivering the desired service or support level; if applicable, at least one metric should reflect customer results (e.g.; "Service Quality").

    Activities and Technology Specific: A minimum of three metrics must be provided, which measure the investment against its defined process standards or technical service level agreements (SLAs) (e.g.; "Reliability and Availability"). At least one of these metrics must have a monthly "Reporting Frequency."

  17. What is the reporting period for performance metrics?

    At least one metric must have a monthly reporting frequency and no metric should be reported less frequently than annually.

  18. How does the IT Dashboard Color Coding System work?

    Project Level Cost and Schedule Variance Rating Evaluation (by agency CIO) Color
    ≥ 30% 1 or 2 Red
    ≥ 10% and < 30% 3 Yellow
    < 10% 4 or 5 Green
  19. How are the cost calculations determined?

    The IT Dashboard shows whether each project is over or under budget. Project cost variance is a roll-up of the variance of the activities within the project and is calculated as follows:

    Cost Variance "Planned Total Costs" - "Projected or Actual Total Cost"
    Cost Variance (Percentage) ("Cost Variance" / "Planned Total Cost") x 100

    Additionally, projected values are used only when actual values are not provided.
    Roll-ups are obtained by summing the costs of all the included lowest level child activities.

  20. How are the schedule calculations determined?

    The IT Dashboard shows whether each project is ahead of or behind schedule. Project schedule variance is calculated as follows:

    Schedule Variance in days for an Activity: "Planned Completion Date" – "Actual or Projected Completion Date"
    End Point Schedule Variance in days for a Project: "Latest Planned Completion Date of all activities"- "Latest Actual OR Projected Completion Date of all activities"
    Schedule Duration in days for an Activity: "Planned Completion Date*" – "Planned Start Date"
    End Point Schedule Duration in days for a Project: "Latest Planned Completion Date* of all activities" – "Earliest Planned Start Date of all activities"
    Project Schedule Variance (Percentage): (Variance in Days/ Duration) x 100

    *Additionally, projected values are used only when actual values are not provided. If Planned Completion Date has passed, then today’s date is used instead.

  21. What determines whether an investment’s status is "Current" or "Update Required"?

    The investment status will show that the investment is "Current" IF:

    1. The investment has only Projects/Activities and there has been an update to activities since the beginning of the last month
    2. The investment has only Performance Metrics and there has been an update to performance metrics actuals since the beginning of the last month
    3. The investment has both Projects/Activities and Performance Metrics and BOTH activities and performance metrics actuals have been updated since the beginning of last month
    4. The investment has neither Projects/Activities nor Performance Metrics.

    If these conditions are not met, the investment status will display as "Update Required".

  22. What do "spending" amounts on the IT Dashboard mean?

    Agencies report spending on investments using two fields: agency funding and agency contributions. These fields describe contributions between agencies. When displaying "spending," the IT Dashboard uses two approaches depending on what is being reported.

    Agency Funding Agency Contributions
    When describing a single investment, "spending" refers to the total budgetary resources, including agency funding and agency contributions. This applies on pages such as the Investment Dashboard, Search Results, and others. X X
    When referring to aggregate spending figures across multiple investments, "spending" only includes budgetary resources based on agency funding amounts for the given fiscal year to avoid double-counting agency contributions. This applies on pages such as the Agency and Business tabs of the Portfolio page, the Treemap, and others. X
  23. Who can update agency information on the IT Dashboard?

    Only agency-authorized users have access to submit updates to the IT Dashboard.

    To receive access to IT Dashboard, agency users should log into the main MAX Portal and request access to the "ITDashboard" application: (https://max.omb.gov/maxportal/sa/appsChangeForm.do). Once access is requested, the agency user should coordinate with their agency administrator to approve access. Agency users are assigned the appropriate role in order to view or submit data to the IT Dashboard.

  24. How do agencies submit data to the IT Dashboard?

    All agency related IT Dashboard information is submitted and updated using an XML API (System-to-System Integration or manual XML upload).

  25. What is the difference between updates, rebaselines, replans, and other operations?

    The IT Dashboard reports the results of multiple types of agency "operations" to their data. Some changes to agency data are only possible under certain types of "operations." For instance, agencies cannot change the "planned end date" of a project's activity through regular updates—they can only do this through a "rebaseline, replan, or correction" operation.

    Agencies are expected to use the appropriate operations based on their agency rebaseline policy consistent with OMB Memo M-10-27

  26. How are the Exhibit 53 and Exhibit 300 data feed elements populated?

    The majority of the Exhibit 53 data elements are populated by agencies during the yearly Exhibit 53 submissions. The majority of the Exhibit 300 data elements are populated by agencies during the full Exhibit 300 submissions and monthly investment updates. However, there are some exceptions where fields are calculated, system-derived, system-generated or originate from the Exhibit 53 submission.

  27. What data feeds are made available to the public?

    The following feeds are available in the public view:

    Exhibit 53A An overview of each Exhibit 53 submission
    Exhibit 53C An overview of each agencies’ Cloud Computing Portfolio.
    Exhibit 53 Funding Sources Funding source information includes Total IT Spending for the PY, CY and BY, and a breakdown of DME and O&M costs.
    Activities Activity data includes cost, schedule and variance information
    Investment Baseline History Provides a history of investment rebaselines, replans and corrections.
    CIO Evaluation History Provides a history of the evaluation by CIO ratings and comments.
    Contracts Overview of contract information including information matched with USAspending.gov
    Exhibit 300A Exhibit 300A submission information, as well as Evaluation (by Agency CIO) information, and dates of last change to activities, contracts, and performance metrics.
    Investment Trends Provides a history of investment CIO Evaluations over time, as well as legacy investment ratings and variances
    Performance Metrics Overview of an investment's operational performance in regards to "Results-Specific" and "Activities or Technology-Specific" metrics
    Performance Metric Actuals Overview of the actual results of an investment’s performance metrics in comparison to their targets
    Projects Project data includes cost, schedule and variance information
    Life Cycle Costs Life Cycle Cost information broken down into planning costs, DME, O&M, and Government FTE costs.
    Techincal Solutions Requirements Indicates whether an investment in whole or in part specifically addresses various technical solution requirements
    Techincal Solutions Requirements URLs Provides a list of URLs which correspond to the technical solution requirements
    Investments Eliminated or Reduced An agency-provided list of investments that will result in the elimination or reduction of other investments.
    Investment Related URLs Provides URLs related to the investment and indicates how they are related
    Bureau Provides a list of Bureaus based on the OMB Circular A-11 Appendix C
    Agency Provides a list of Agencies based on the OMB Circular A-11 Appendix C
  28. What data feed fields are only updated on a nightly basis?

    Most data fields for logged-in users are updated in real-time when downloading the data from a particular data feed. However, certain fields are calculated on a nightly basis and may not reflect the latest values if the data has changed during the day. The below table lists the data feeds and fields which are only updated on a nightly basis.

    Data Feed Feed Names
    CIO Evaluation History CIO Name
    Performance Metrics Latest Actual Result Met/Not Met (derived)
    Performance Metric Actuals Actual Result Met/Not Met (derived)
    Investment Trends *Entire data feed
    Data Quality Report *Entire data feed
    Data Quality Report (machine-readable) *Entire data feed
  29. Does IT Dashboard show the public all data submitted by agencies?

    Although a key goal of the IT Dashboard is improving accountability and performance through transparency, not all data agencies compile about the Federal IT portfolio is suitable for public release. There are four categories of data which the IT Dashboard does not share with the public:

    • Pre-decisional Budget Data: During the budget formulation season from September to the release of the President's Budget, portions of agency submissions used by the IT Dashboard may contain pre-decisional information. "Pre-decisional" describes information which is not finalized until the release of the President's Budget. The following portions of agency submissions are not available to the public during this period:
      • "New" investments: including investments that only have spending in the budget year (the fiscal year for which the budget is being considered). This also includes investments which agencies propose to "split," "consolidate," or "reorganize" as these decisions may not yet be final.
      • Planned IT spending levels in the budget year.
      • Costs of projects and activities that complete during or after the budget year.
      • Eliminated/downgraded investments page.
    • National Security or Classified Data: The IT Dashboard does not collect or display any classified or national security-sensitive information.
    • Procurement-Sensitive Data: The IT Dashboard does not share procurement-sensitive information with the public. Any data related to Federal procurements that if released to the public would adversely impact the Government's negotiating position is considered "procurement-sensitive." This includes, for example, planned spending estimates in years beyond the budget year.
    • Other Data, including personally identifiable information related to IT investments.
  30. Should agencies redact sensitive contract data in submissions to OMB to avoid release to the public?

    Agencies should not redact information sent to the IT Dashboard. Processes have been put into place to ensure sensitive information will not be publicly displayed. To prevent the exposure of potentially sensitive data, agencies should ensure submissions are consistent with requested data (e.g., avoid identifying contracts not yet awarded as "awarded").

  31. What information is found on the portfolio page?

    The portfolio page provides an aggregate view of IT investments reported to the IT Dashboard. The Evaluation (by agency CIO) pie chart shows the current distribution of Red/Yellow/Green investments according to the Evaluation rating (see the CIO Evaluations section for additional information on the evaluation colors). Similarly, the Project Cost and Schedule pie charts show a distribution of Red/Yellow/Green projects according to their Cost/Schedule variance.

    Evaluation trends are shown starting from October 2009 as these ratings have been recorded since the initial launch of the IT Dashboard. Projects were introduced as a concept in the FY2013 reporting schema, so project trends are only available from September 2011 onward.

    By default, the portfolio charts show the distribution based on the count of investments/projects. This view can be adjusted via the radio button below the charts to see a cost based view of investment/projects.

  32. What information is included on the investment dashboard?

    The investment dashboard displays detailed information on a single IT investment. The investment's Evaluation (by agency CIO) is graphed alongside the Agency and Government-wide evaluation averages for comparison purposes. Baseline Change Occurrences are plotted on the same chart. The timeframe can also be changed by the user. Additional features on the investment dashboard include: Investment title and description, Project information, Operational Performance, Contracts, the Exhibit 300 archive, the Current Exhibit 300PDF, Investment Change History, Related URLs, and other investment metrics.

  33. What information is displayed on the Trends chart?

    The Trends chart under the “Visualization” navigation dropdown is a multi-dimensional chart which allows users to explore several indicators over time. Users can select the desired indicators and view their values for each agency based on the X-axis, Y-axis, Color, Size, and Fiscal Year. The data can be visualized as a bubble chart, bar graph or line graph.

  34. What is a Treemap?

    The Treemap is a hierarchal chart composed of blocks and sub-blocks which represent categorical dimensions. The data displayed on the Treemap may be customized by selecting a Fiscal Year, Size/Color indicator, and up to three drilldowns. Users can then explore the selected criteria by clicking a box and viewing the corresponding results. The table below the chart lists the investments based on the box selections and chosen criteria.

  35. What information is displayed on the Data Quality Report?

    The Data Quality Report is an area where agencies can review which investments have potential data quality issues across 6 major categories. Within each category, there are certain metrics which can trigger a red flag based on pre-determined thresholds in the investment data. For detailed information about the data quality report metrics, what each of them mean, and how they are calculated, please refer to the Data Quality Report - Detailed Metrics documentation.

  36. How can I access earlier editions of the IT Dashboard?

    The data reported to the IT Dashboard is based on the Office of Management and Budget's Exhibit 53 and Exhibit 300 referred to in OMB Circular A-11. The design of these exhibits is typically updated on an annual basis, so the types of data reported to the IT Dashboard may vary year to year. Because these exhibits are related to agencies' budget submissions to OMB, "editions" of IT Dashboard data can be tied to the year of the budget being planned at any given time.

    Starting in August 2012, archive versions of IT Dashboard data for previous budget years will be maintained for public access. Generally speaking, data submitted from September to August relate to a single, common budget year. The following table shows the history of submissions to the IT Dashboard and how to access their archived version, if available.

    Start Month End Month Budget Year URL (if available)
    June 2009 August 2010 FY2011 Edition
    September 2010 August 2011 FY2012 Edition
    September 2011 August 2012 FY2013 Edition https://it-2013.itdashboard.gov/
    September 2012 August 2013 FY2014 Edition https://it-2014.itdashboard.gov/
    September 2013 August 2014 FY2015 Edition http://www.itdashboard.gov
  37. Are there any new features planned for the IT Dashboard?

    The IT Dashboard team is always looking for ways to improve analytical capabilities and user experience. User feedback is always appreciated and can be submitted via the Feedback link at the top of each page.

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