5 Hidden Benefits of a Government Data Analytics Solution

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News

October 10, 2017

5 Hidden Benefits of a Government Data Analytics Solution

Implementing data analytics projects delivers clear benefits – report automation, standardization, historical trending, working from a single version of the truth, etc.

But a few less obvious—and equally as important—benefits may be the fuel you need to get buy-in from inside your organization. When you are considering a data analytics solution for your government organization and need to garner internal support, make sure to focus on these benefits in addition to the tactical, tangible advantages:

Benefit #1: Data Analytics Will Save Employees’ Valuable Time

You’ve probably experienced this situation: You get a request from your boss, your constituents, Congress, etc., that requires a specific data set. You spend the next several hours calling around to the different groups of people who own that data, hoping someone will give you access to it without a turf battle. If you are lucky enough to get the data quickly, you attempt to fit the pieces of data together using Microsoft Access or Excel. You realize that the data from the different places is not standardized, so you have to manually transform the data to make it talk to each other. Then you realize that about 10% of the data is just plain bad, so you have to call the source again and have them fix the issues. By the time you finally have the answer, your boss has moved on to something else.

Using a data analytics solution eliminates (or at least alleviates) many of these issues. You and your team will be more efficient, and every employee will look forward to getting a few hours back in the work week that used to be spent doing tedious, manual data labor.

Benefit #2 – Data Analytics Get Siloed Departments Collaborating

Before data analytics and warehousing became mainstream, an organization’s departments didn’t always have a need to collaborate (or even talk to each other). This isolation was partially enabled by the nature of the data set-up. There was no easy way to look across the organization and see how one department’s data could inform or enhance the work of another department.

With an enterprise data analytics solution, groups must come together and think about how their data interacts. This increased collaboration usually leads to less redundancy across government and more cost-effective solutions. This collaboration isn’t just important for internal efficiency, though. Constituents expect integration between government agencies. They do not want their government services to be handled by isolated silos, and many customer service complaints arise when two organizations don’t communicate about a citizen’s request.

Government organizations that have embraced a data analytics solution and initiated departmental collaboration will see more satisfied and engaged citizens and will have a big head start over organizations that continue to operate under an outdated, isolated model.

Benefit #3 – Data Analytics Will Help Your Organization Attract the Best and the Brightest

A data-driven organization attracts data-driven employees. Getting staff accustomed to analytics will not only increase productivity, but will also establish the organization as a forward-thinking one, driven by data and not baseless claims or gut-feels. A focus on using data to solve problems will naturally extend to the entire organization’s culture: performance reviews, hiring decisions, and business strategy decisions will also become more data-driven.

Your organization can and will attract innovative and analytical employees when they hear about the important issues you are solving with data analytics.

Benefit #4 – When You Actually Use Your Data, Data Quality Improves

When data is combined in a data warehouse or similar data solution, the quality of your data (or lack thereof) becomes much more obvious. For example, you may think that putting 00000 into your financial system for a zip code is ok, until you try and compare that information with another system that tracks demographics (by zip code).

Data analytics solutions are extremely valuable for cross-system analysis, but they also shine light on data quality issues. Your source systems will be helped indirectly as a result of this.

Benefit #5 – Data Analytics Can Help Elected or Appointed Officials Deliver Quick, Measurable Wins

In government, every mission and its results will eventually be connected to an elected official and impact the changes of their re-election. Data analytics is a way to achieve quick-wins that are not only mission-oriented, but also marketable. If an elected official can show how they streamlined a process and saved tax-payer dollars, they’ll have more political capital during the next campaign. Data Analytics projects also increase transparency, government accountability, and accessibility—three hot-button issues for voters in most cities.

Data Analytics will transform an organization from the inside out. Don’t overlook the subtler benefits when pitching a project inside your organization.