Government still in the 'primordial slime' of using data

Agencies need to employ analytics tools to put their mountains of information to use, speakers at NASCIO's conference say.

State and local governments could provide much better services to citizens if they can figure out how to put their vast stores of data to use, a panel of industry analysts told an audience of state chief information officers.

Governments are sitting on a tremendous amount of data sets that could be used to study their operational activities, said Chris Dixon, manager of state and local industry analysis with Deltek, a market research firm. State governments need to harness business intelligence and put analytics to good use, Dixon said.

“In my opinion, we are still in the primordial slime in terms of using [data]. We are tadpoles just waiting to crawl out on the soil of using this data,” Dixon said Oct. 3 during a morning session on the next technology trends and solutions at the National Association of State Chief Information Officers annual conference in Denver.


Related story:

How data wizardry can revive America’s cities
 


Dixon was asked by Bill Roth, chief information technology architect for Kansas’ Transportation Department, about what state government’s are ignoring that CIOs should be paying attention to.

One thing is putting available data to use. The federal government’s Data.gov website has interesting information, Dixon said, “but I don’t know as a citizen what I should do with that data.”

Chicago has a project, MetroPulseChicago.org, wherein people can pull information that tells them how many linguistically isolated households are in the greater Chicago area, those are homes where no one is a functional English speaker.

“That is interesting but what do we do next?” Dixon asked.  “Do we put together a map to show where the linguistic services are around this area?”  Moreover, “where are our social services operating in these worlds?” he asked.  “Should there be a partnership between non-governmental organizations amongst the counties?” 

“Let that data start to drive a natural point of interaction,” he said.

“We [haven’t] seen even the tip of the iceberg of what we can do with business intelligence,” Dixon said. Rather than publishing report cards, state governments could focus on where they should go from here and how to share data with other organizations and let them crunch it and offer up solutions.

When it comes to analytics, “I think the government is doing as much as the private sector is doing,” said Andrea Di Maio, vice president and distinguished analyst with Gartner Research.

However, analytics can be used to help connect the dots of how employees within organizations are using data. “Nobody has any idea of how people are using their data,” he said.

Government managers have to step back and ask who needs more data within their organizations and how that data can be used for other parts of the organization, Di Maio noted.

“That sort of viewpoint of how to connect the dots is missing,” but it is not difficult to get there; it just requires a different way of thinking by CIOs, he said.

State CIOs are facing multiple challenges, such as budget constraints and operational problems that constantly need attention, said Thom Rubel, vice president of research with IDC Government Insights.  As they make IT investments, the challenge is to do it pervasively to ensure that investment helps to build a new environment wherein analysis of data can lead to improved operations, Rubel said.

The NASCIO 2011 Annual Conference is being held Oct. 2-5 in Denver. The conference opened with a riveting keynote by retired Navy Commander Kirk S. Lippold, who was the commanding officer of the USS Cole when it came under a suicide terrorist attack by al-Qaeda in the port of Aden, Yemen, Oct. 12, 2000.

Lippold used that attack as a backdrop to convey how crisis management involves acting during the moment of the crisis and, at the same time, thinking a head to address future issues or problems.

X
This website uses cookies to enhance user experience and to analyze performance and traffic on our website. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners. Learn More / Do Not Sell My Personal Information
Accept Cookies
X
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Do Not Sell My Personal Information

When you visit our website, we store cookies on your browser to collect information. The information collected might relate to you, your preferences or your device, and is mostly used to make the site work as you expect it to and to provide a more personalized web experience. However, you can choose not to allow certain types of cookies, which may impact your experience of the site and the services we are able to offer. Click on the different category headings to find out more and change our default settings according to your preference. You cannot opt-out of our First Party Strictly Necessary Cookies as they are deployed in order to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting the cookie banner and remembering your settings, to log into your account, to redirect you when you log out, etc.). For more information about the First and Third Party Cookies used please follow this link.

Allow All Cookies

Manage Consent Preferences

Strictly Necessary Cookies - Always Active

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data, Targeting & Social Media Cookies

Under the California Consumer Privacy Act, you have the right to opt-out of the sale of your personal information to third parties. These cookies collect information for analytics and to personalize your experience with targeted ads. You may exercise your right to opt out of the sale of personal information by using this toggle switch. If you opt out we will not be able to offer you personalised ads and will not hand over your personal information to any third parties. Additionally, you may contact our legal department for further clarification about your rights as a California consumer by using this Exercise My Rights link

If you have enabled privacy controls on your browser (such as a plugin), we have to take that as a valid request to opt-out. Therefore we would not be able to track your activity through the web. This may affect our ability to personalize ads according to your preferences.

Targeting cookies may be set through our site by our advertising partners. They may be used by those companies to build a profile of your interests and show you relevant adverts on other sites. They do not store directly personal information, but are based on uniquely identifying your browser and internet device. If you do not allow these cookies, you will experience less targeted advertising.

Social media cookies are set by a range of social media services that we have added to the site to enable you to share our content with your friends and networks. They are capable of tracking your browser across other sites and building up a profile of your interests. This may impact the content and messages you see on other websites you visit. If you do not allow these cookies you may not be able to use or see these sharing tools.

If you want to opt out of all of our lead reports and lists, please submit a privacy request at our Do Not Sell page.

Save Settings
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Cookie List

A cookie is a small piece of data (text file) that a website – when visited by a user – asks your browser to store on your device in order to remember information about you, such as your language preference or login information. Those cookies are set by us and called first-party cookies. We also use third-party cookies – which are cookies from a domain different than the domain of the website you are visiting – for our advertising and marketing efforts. More specifically, we use cookies and other tracking technologies for the following purposes:

Strictly Necessary Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Functional Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Performance Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Social Media Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Targeting Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.