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I Am ORA Profile: Robert Bughman

Robert Bughman, operation research analyst, Division of System Solutions, Office of Information Systems Management, Office of Regulatory Affairs, Food and Drug Administration

Robert Bughman

When people ask me what I do for FDA, I tell them I work with data. Data may seem mundane to many, but I view it as critical to the success of FDA’s mission. FDA produces and consumes massive amounts of complex data. It’s my job to look at data and use my problem-solving and technical skills to create new and innovative approaches to provide useful information to the public and FDA staff.

I am Robert Bughman, an operations research analyst in the Office of Regulatory Affairs, within the Division of System Solutions Enforcement Systems Branch in the Office of Information Systems Management.

I am the project manager for the FDA Data Dashboard which was created in 2016. The Data Dashboard, formerly GovDashboard, was recently reconstituted, updated, enhanced, and is now hosted on the cloud. Placing the dashboard on the cloud increased transparency and accountability by displaying and allowing for the analysis of public FDA data through easy-to-use, visually accessible, customizable, and understandable graphics.

The interactive Data Dashboard allows internal stakeholders and the public to drill down into published graphs and charts. Prior to the development of this Dashboard, a user would have to open and search up to five different excel spreadsheets and online datasets on FDA.gov to find the information on compliance actions, recalls, inspections, import refusals, and import summaries. Dashboard users can now retrieve consolidated information on specific firms, including warning letters and import alerts.

Robert Bughman quote

FDA also recently expanded the Data Dashboard to include Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) data. Under FSMA, FDA’s Foreign Supplier Verification Programs rule requires importers to perform risk-based activities to verify that their suppliers are meeting U.S. food safety standards. Within the FDA Data Dashboard, the FSMA Data Search Dashboard lets users search once and find all current and applicable information related to a given firm.

I was honored to be part of the FDA Data Dashboard project. It was selected earlier this year as one of the winners of the 5th annual FedHealthIT Innovation Award. Those receiving the award were nominated and chosen by their peers and recognized based on their willingness to take on achievable risk and deliver real results in support of their Agency’s mission to effectively transform evolving technologies. The FDA Data Dashboard was recognized for achieving greater transparency and elevating functional efficiencies through models that are modern, secure, and scalable.

Each day I come to work excited to see what the new day holds. I love the people I work with. Everyone is extremely competent, and they strive to exceed the expectations of the people and teams we support. I also love the incredible work-life balance that I achieve by working in ORA. 

I am Robert Bughman, and #IAmORA.