by Heidi Riley
Veterans Affairs (VAC) is a department of the Federal Government of Canada with its head office in Charlottetown and offices across the country.
Veterans Affairs supports the well-being of veterans and their families and promotes recognition and remembrance of the achievements and sacrifices of those who served Canada in times of war, military conflict, and peace.
The Business Intelligence Unit (BIU) is part of the Service Delivery branch, which is responsible for delivering benefits to VAC programs. The unit works closely with the Chief Financial Officer and Corporate Services. BIU provides direct support to Service Delivery areas in Program Management and Field Operations. Field Operations provides direct support to clients (veterans, RCMP, and other clients and their families). The Program Management section develops the programs and needs information and data that informs their programs and services.
BIU works with the program areas and field operations to identify their needs. BIU also works closely with their colleagues in the Enterprise Data and Statistics Directorate. The positions mentioned below apply to these two organizations as well.
The Business Accounts Unit helps with program management, to help them understand the impact of VAC benefits and services to veterans and their families. They provide data analysis and support decision making by VAC employees, and they also assist the Minister of Veterans Affairs in making decisions.
They may answer questions such as:
- How much money did VAC spend to provide client support?
- How many clients did VAC approve for a certain benefit?
- Who is getting the most assistance? Who might need more assistance with benefits?
- Who will tell the story of how their benefit is helping clients?
The unit plays a key part when working with their programming counterparts to provide performance information for all of government.
Others on the team support a big national client survey done every second year. They get feedback, do analysis on it to help tell the story about how veterans are benefitting from VAC services.
The role of Data Reporting Analysts
Data Reporting Analysts are involved in the process from beginning to end. At the beginning when looking at implementing a new benefit or contract, they help define the reporting needs, and work with those program areas to flesh out what will be needed to report on. They work with data teams to document, implement, test, and do data validation. They act as data detectives, looking through data sets that are being created, running them through testing, and looking to see why something is not working.
A big part of the role is building reports using Excel, Cognos, and coding languages such as Python.
They act as data storage to ensure they are providing just what is needed and only what is needed.
They look for applicants who have some experience working with data, writing reports, and parceling it out, and with the education that supports that work.
Veterans Affairs supports student employment. Many UPEI graduates come in through co-op positions or FSWEP terms or they graduate and come on as a term or casual position and end up with a permanent position at Veterans Affairs.
Success stories in 2020:
- A student who was finishing a computer science degree started with BIU at Veterans Affairs in a co-op program. When their co-op term was completed, VAC was able to offer them a long-term AS3 position. They developed more technical skills and recently accepted a permanent position as an EC4 in the Corporate Human Resources Unit.
- Another example: VAC was looking to fill a vacancy with a specific skill set, and one PEI graduate working there recommended a former classmate in her mathematics course. That person was quickly brought on in a casual position and after a few months, was able to move into a term position.
FOR MORE INFORMATION
about Veterans Affairs Canada, visit www.veterans.gc.ca
For more information about applying to the federal government, visit https://employmentjourney.com/public-service-of-canada-the/