The National Association of State CIOs has just released an issue brief that has me very excited. “DO YOU THINK? OR DO YOU KNOW? Improving State Government Operations Through Business Analytics” gives an overview of business analytics and includes examples of effective implementations.
The brief’s title paraphrases the quote “Do we think or do we know?" from Jeanne Harris and Tom Davenport’s book Competing on Analytics, where it is attributed to Gary Loveman, the CEO of Harrah's. This simple quote gets at a common problem in organizations, government or not. Are you operating on instinct, past assumptions or inertia? Or are you analyzing data to get at the truth?
States are facing unprecedented budget shortfalls, and we’ve had many conversations with NASCIO educating them about how business analytics can help increase revenues and decrease expenses. In fact, you will see a graph that we often use at SAS to show the different types of analytics on page 9 of the report.
The North Carolina Office of State Personnel is the subject of one of the case studies (on page 8 of the report). Employing business analytics in workforce planning, as NCOSP has done, is just one area where SAS can help. In addition, reducing fraud, optimizing tax and revenue collection and improving efficiencies can all be accomplished with business analytics, and these are priority areas for my team in 2010.
I smiled when I read a part of the report that described business analytics as “beyond business intelligence.” Hmm…Beyond BI…where have I heard that before? Oh yeah, it was a marketing slogan SAS used years ago! I’ve enjoyed my conversations with the folks at NASCIO and it’s gratifying to see them offer to their members such a thorough and informative summary of our core strength.