The Future of Analytics in Virginia – Insights from COVITS 2017

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September 14, 2017

The Future of Analytics in Virginia – Insights from COVITS 2017

The Qlarion team left COVITS 2017 feeling energized about the Commonwealth’s commitment to innovation through data and analytics. Throughout the event, we had productive, positive conversations with government leaders about the exciting efforts underway across our state.

While a number of the speakers and panelists discussed Virginia’s momentum, a few key moments resonated with me. First, during the Driving Data Sharing Panel, Debbie Condrey (CIO of Virginia’s Department of Health) mentioned a subtle change her organization has made to change employees’ perspectives on the role of data: replacing the phrase “data owner” with “data steward.” This spoke volumes to me. By referring to stewards of data, her organization reinforces the idea that it’s not the employee’s responsibility to keep the data from others, but rather to find ways to make the data valuable to the organization’s overall mission. This small change will go a long way in breaking down existing silos and preventing future silo-building.

Later in the day, I was struck by a remark from Sara Marshall (Industry Advisor, State and Local Government for SAP America). Sara reminded the audience to stay focused on the why—the reason behind all of our work. While we may spend most of our time creating and deploying tools and strategies, to be truly successful and take our work to the next level, we must keep the end goal (the human impact) in mind, whether that’s combating the opioid epidemic or decreasing homelessness.

Overall, the event was proof of the great work going on in our state. Virginia is poised to leverage advancements in data storage, sharing, and analytics to continue to improve the lives of Virginia’s citizens, improve government services, and drive the Virginia economy. And we’re well positioned to do so: we’re a leader in autonomous systems and have more data centers than any other state.  We’re already seeing data sharing programs at the agency level, in particular within NLDS, Department of Health, and Department of Corrections and Law Enforcement.

The fact that so many state leaders attended and participated in these important conversations demonstrates their commitment to change. Qlarion is proud to be a part of Virginia’s journey toward being a leader in data-driven government, and we’re excited about what lies ahead.