Imagine trying to make the right decision for a child in protective custody if your information was limited only to what was reported to your department about a single incident. Without additional information about the child’s home environment, health and education, criminal background of adults in the child’s life, and prior referrals, a case worker would be challenged to take informed action.
The NASCIO 2015 State CIO Survey lists "Managing Data as a Strategic Asset" as one of the top of mind issues for state CIOs. So what's the best approach to bringing critical information together to make it a true, strategic asset? A Center of Analytics.
It's never been more important to create such a center. Government collects information about everything - birth and death records, transportation statistics, accounting, payments, incomes, taxes, business ownership, economic indicators, population growth, health data, food inspections and on and on.
And now with the explosion of technology even more data is being created through our cars, phones, shopping and interactions on the internet. Government, like the private sector, must be able to identify relevant and meaningful data, ensure the quality and reliability of that data, and find ways to use that data to addresses its key business challenges.
As a result, many government organizations are creating strategic positions like Chief Data Officer or Chief Analytics Officer to focus their enterprise data sharing and analytics efforts. Other government entities are establishing enterprise data offices and enterprise analytics programs. These positions and organizations can guide government in setting strategic vision, creating policy and procedure and implementing effective data management and analytic solutions.
Ideally, these efforts would culminate in a Center of Analytics. Why? For one reason, to avoid creating the same type of siloes in our analytics solutions that government has created in transaction and operational systems. Government can gain insight and efficiency from better sharing of data and reusing of analytic capabilities..
How often do government IT systems “re-invent the wheel” and spend limited resources duplicating effort that has already been successfully implemented elsewhere – for example, many systems managing eligibility verification or payment validation flag applications or payments for individuals who are known to be deceased. Why have multiple systems repeating the same logic when a Center for Analytics can make a deceased verification service available to multiple IT systems?
From my own experience as the former Director of the North Carolina Government Data Analytics Center, as well as listening to teams around the country who are focused on enterprise analytics, there are best practices, lessons learned and successful strategies to help guide your efforts in enterprise analytics.
Look for a series of blog posts focusing enterprise Center of Analytics including:
- Building a Center for Analytics – Keys to Success
- Analytic Solutions – Implementation and Adoption
- Showing the Value – Demonstrating ROI
Stay tuned for more information about a Center of Analytics!