With Snowflake, the country’s fifth-largest trial court has scaled data insights, increased collaboration and improved operational efficiency to better serve the public.

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Superior Court of California Logo
Public Sector
Santa Ana, CA

Data-driven justice to better serve constituents

The Superior Court of California of the County of Orange is the fifth-largest trial court in the nation. The court handles over 500,000 annual case filings and serves a county population that exceeds 3 million. The court operates five justice centers in eight locations throughout Orange County and handles all types of state cases, including civil, criminal, traffic, family, juvenile and probate.

The Orange County (OC) courts are on a journey to modernize their systems and drive operational efficiencies through data to better serve their constituents. Previously, they had multiple systems, ranging from on-premises to hybrid cloud and cloud-only solutions. As a result, data was siloed and teams were limited to pulling and managing data through Excel. 

According to Darren Dang, the Chief Financial and Administrative Officer at the Superior Court of California of the County of Orange, “Courts are funded by the state, and we need data insights to run our operations efficiently. There’s so much data in our case management systems that we want to leverage.” 

Yet each case type—family, juvenile, criminal and civil—has a separate case management system and data was siloed in each of those systems. The OC court needed a central repository with a standard set of data definitions that would enable them to work together. 

There are 58 Superior Courts of California, one for each county, and each is required to independently report data through the statewide Judicial Branch Statistical Information System. “If it was already difficult from a local perspective to consolidate and aggregate data, it was nearly impossible from the state level,” says Dang. 

To pave the way for the OC court to embrace data and analytics, Dang and his team looked for a modern data platform in the cloud—one that could serve as the single source of truth and hold high security and privacy standards.

Story Highlights
  • Operational efficiency: With Snowflake as their single source of truth for case management systems, the OC court and staff allocate resources appropriately and reduce caseload backlog.

  • Statewide data sharing: Snowflake Secure Data Sharing eliminates the need for secure file transfer protocol processes, allowing the State of California to aggregate data from all 58 counties.

  • Improved funding advocacy: After the successes seen in Orange County, the courts have become the blueprint for other counties in California and helped secure $60 million in state funding to address caseload backlogs.

Fostering a data culture through unified data and analytics

The OC court chose the Snowflake Data Cloud on Azure as their centralized, modern data platform. Snowflake has near-zero maintenance and natively separates storage and compute; this way, workload costs are optimized to scale up and down based on usage. Instead of managing multiple solutions, the OC court consolidated onto Snowflake.

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“With our data in Snowflake, we’re able to generate insights with a high degree of trust that they have translated into operational benefits. Data insights are now infused throughout the different departments within the court and at different levels of our organization.”

Darren Dang
Chief Financial and Administrative Officer, Superior Court of California of the County of Orange

As part of Snowflake's open ecosystem, the courts are able to leverage tools such as Power BI and Tableau for greater operational efficiency. “From understanding who is coming in to get assistance to how many jurors are showing up for jury duty and ultimately for courtroom trials, almost all areas of the court are infusing data into their work,” says Dang. For example, the OC court can now confidently assign judicial officers and hire staff at optimal levels because the presiding judge and court administration use data based on filings to predict and project estimated workloads. Judges can be assigned to accommodate fluctuations in workload. 

Statewide data collaboration

Local counties and courts are very protective of data ownership and what is externally shareable. Snowflake’s data sharing addresses the security and privacy concerns of external data access because local administrators have the ability to share only what is approved, maintaining strong data governance and lineage. The Judicial Council of California imposes multiple levels of oversight, and it's important to be able to securely aggregate data from all 58 counties to get an accurate and timely statewide picture.

Reducing caseload backlog

The courts’ service delivery model is based on how many cases they can fulfill. “The nature of the work is labor intensive: 80% to 90% of our expenditures are on people,” Dang says. “Operational efficiency to us means quickly resolving cases and shortening and having fewer hearings that better serve our constituents.” 

For example, caseloads are driven by filings, and the court's ability to close cases depends on hearings. The OC courts have Power BI dashboards that can provide very specific insights and drill into more granular levels. If they are able to predict expected filings for the next six months to a year or more and have better insights into caseflow, the courts can adjust and fine-tune and optimize service delivery models.

Advocating for funding

With Snowflake, Juniper teams prepare data 50% faster and quickly build functional Tableau dashboards. Then, they connect these dashboards to provide richer insights that reduce supply chain costs, ensure product quality and on-time delivery, manage risk and increase customer lifetime value. Since adopting Snowflake, Juniper has seen dashboard performance improve by 50%. 

“Our supply chain team is always working on backlog order management,” says Roy. “We used to refresh backlog data once per day, and that was not enough. Snowflake enables us to look at the backlog every two hours for better visibility in forecasting and planning.”

Teams across Juniper are benefiting from increased access to fresh, timely data. Commodity managers now rely on integrated supplier performance dashboards to monitor cost, quantity and delivery, while the planning team converts sales data into operating plans. Juniper’s leadership relies on management dashboards to stay informed about important KPIs like factory yield and lead time attainment.

Supporting better network experiences—affordably

When data can be aggregated at the statewide level, the local courts can advocate for resources where they’re needed. “We were able to present to the state about the buildup of backlogs throughout many counties in California because we have data at the granular level,” Dang says. “After preparing a template for other courts to gather data, we got $60 million in funding for California courts to address this and better serve their constituents because of it. At the judicial branch, we’re moving cohesively as a unified branch statewide and not separate counties.”

Continuing to use data for good

“Our priority is always to use data for good, and we will continue to better serve our constituents,” Dang says. “Having the ability to collaborate and share data through the Snowflake Data Cloud with other counties and the state enables us to be successful together.” Furthermore, the opportunities generated by a central data repository will enable maturation toward predictive and prescriptive advanced analytics capabilities with AI and machine learning.

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