The National Association of State Chief Information Officers (NASCIO) conducts an annual survey of the state CIOs to identify and prioritize the top policy and technology issues facing state government. The State CIO top ten priorities are identified and used as input to NASCIO’s programs, planning for conference sessions, and publications throughout the year. This blog was originally published on the NASCIO site to reflect support for the priorities highlighted in that study.
State CIOs face the challenge of balancing the management of resources, the oversight of regulatory policies, and responding to incidents that could impact national security, all while handling sensitive citizen information. Luckily, a robust data analytics program provides visibility into their data across the organization and can help to manage these often competing responsibilities while providing great benefit to constituents. Data analytics are vital to organizations that rely on insights to more effectively manage operations, inform citizen trends and mitigate potential risks.
1) Security and Risk Management – For the public sector, damage from cybersecurity breaches goes beyond financial loss. Although this represents a significant risk, breaches can also threaten national security or damage critical national infrastructure. In addition, particularly in state governments, sensitive employee and citizen data must also be protected. A robust data analytics program can help state CIOs identify both internal and external risks in advance. In addition, platforms built on the latest open source technologies, allow state and local governments to manage vast amounts of data in varying forms, providing increased visibility into risk, and earlier detection of potential fraud and threats.
2) Consolidation Optimization – Historically, fragmented data systems have led to incomplete or siloed data sets that inhibit collaborative data-driven decision-making. An advanced data analytics platform offers lower storage costs – in some cases a reduction of 90 percent — by enabling multiple workloads on a single, integrated platform, thus reducing the cost and managerial complexity of data siloes. This means that agencies no longer need to store data in multiple relational databases, and can now work directly with raw data.
3) Cloud Services – Agencies can more cost effectively store their data and keep more data for longer in the cloud, creating a more complete and accurate picture of data sets and allowing for advanced analytics like multiple behavioral analysis based on real-time and historical patterns and trends, a boon for agencies tasked with identifying and mitigating some of the country’s greatest potential threats. Advanced data analytics can leverage elastic infrastructure to size compute and storage independently, grow and shrink clusters dynamically, and clone net new clusters for ad-hoc, transient workloads. It can also help agencies reserve flexibility and minimize cloud lock-in, by allowing them to use the same application in any major public cloud provider or in their own private cloud. Finally, advanced data analytics programs helps agencies reduce risk, delivering the comprehensive manageability, availability, security and governance required for production workloads.
4) Budget, Cost Control and Fiscal Management – With traditional data management strategies, it can take months for state government agencies to sift through and respond to existing service requests from constituents. In this scenario, historical and new data sources are sometimes discarded based on unknown value, which limits future use cases. In addition to the cost savings from consolidation and cloud, advanced data analytics platforms offer predictive and real-time analytics, leading to improved efficiency by allowing agencies to work with more data and more kinds of data across the agency.
5) Legacy Modernization – Aside from being a budget drain, outdated IT infrastructure stymies innovation by forcing an increased focus on maintaining an increasingly expensive, aging infrastructure. Government agencies reluctant to modernize also struggle to attract and retain top talent, leaving their systems vulnerable to fraud, waste and abuse. A robust data analytics platform can help agencies transition to a modern architecture, upgrade their IT staff, provide better insight on their mission and diminish risk, all at a lower cost than legacy options. For agencies, disparate data silos created by legacy systems and point solutions make information access and comprehensive analytical capabilities daunting. The problem is augmented as agencies are inundated with an increasing volume of data they must collect, generate and store, making it difficult to quickly and efficiently complete missions given the often limited resources, aging IT infrastructure and dynamic program requirements.
6) Enterprise IT Governance – Data governance is a critical yet challenging business process in a world where data volumes, types and uses are rapidly expanding. Government agencies must employ comprehensive governance strategies to ensure data is properly collected, managed and used, all while protecting individuals’ privacy and ensuring agencies can quickly and effectively make use of data to drive mission accomplishments — the true purpose of collecting it in the first place. An advanced data analytics platform helps provide this data governance that guides the appropriate use of data, leading to better insights, information and innovation.
7) Data Management and Analytics – The aggregation of pertinent data from diverse systems and partners can lead to timely and valuable insights, or anticipatory intelligence, to help public sector professionals understand situations, make informed decisions, and apply resources where they are most needed. Whether the focus is on bolstering online citizen services, improving response time for first responders, or diminishing traffic inefficiencies, the ability to process real-time and historical data provides public sector organizations the ability to understand operations and anticipate eventualities for timely and accurate decision making.
8) Enterprise Vision and Roadmap for IT – Everyday, agencies are tasked with managing volumes of historical and new information, from multiple sources, and then making decisions based on this growing information universe. Without tools and methods to better manage and understand this data, the volume, variety and velocity will increasingly challenge public sector leaders who endeavor to make informed decisions about resource use and appropriate responses to the diverse situations they face. An advanced data analytics platform can help thanks to limitless architecture and an open-source ecosystem of partners that frees agencies from proprietary vendor solutions.
The possibilities are endless for agencies that collect all of their data in one centralized, secure, fully-governed platform that any department could access anytime, anywhere. A unified view of data grants public sector analysts the ability to navigate around the data silos, allowing new and real-time insights that deliver more data-driven and responsive government information and services. Additionally, government leaders will be empowered to take more timely actions and determine the most efficient means to provide the support needed as indicated by a trusted, advanced data analytics platform.