Guest post from Blythe Howard-Chou, senior writer, IBM Business Analytics
With election season in full swing, citizens and candidates are in heated debate about how our government actually functions versus how it should function.
Yet in the midst of all the discussions, some government organizations and agencies are working smarter; they’re using analytics to improve citizen and business services, manage resources more effectively, strengthen public safety and improve national security and defense.
For governments, applying business analytics to daily decision making offers a tremendous opportunity to better protect and serve citizens – if they can harness it.
Performance improvements don’t just happen at the flip of a switch, however. They require strategic changes in culture as much as people, processes and technology.
The good news is that government leaders are recognizing the power of analytics to drive better outcomes. The recent IBM Global CFO Survey shows that government CFOs view analytics as critical to attaining the best possible outcomes.
IBM’s upcoming online conference, “Analytics for Smarter Government,” (Oct. 17 at 11:00 am EDT) addresses how governments at all levels can use analytics to transform outcomes. Speakers include James Kobalt, senior criminal justice analyst with the City of Lancaster, California, and Eboni Washington, senior management analyst with the Clark County Department of Family Services in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Rob Dolan, worldwide government and education industry executive for IBM Business Analytics, and one of the three speakers on the keynote panel at the conference, spoke with me about what we can expect to learn about how governments are using analytics.
Based on your customer discussions, what trends are you seeing among government agencies?
We’re seeing a strong focus on driving performance improvement within government, especially as organizations begin to adopt an analytics-driven culture. That performance improvement is usually a direct result of the political leadership and the legacy that they want to leave once their tenure is complete. This can only occur when aligning the mission goals, financial objectives and the operational requirements together.
What areas are government officials hoping to improve with analytics?
Decision-makers in government are looking at all areas: social services, water and other public utilities, transportation, public safety, defense and more. They’d also like to see improvements in functional areas such program performance, budget preparation and financial reporting, tax compliance, crime prediction and defense readiness.
What are some examples of best practices?
There are many fantastic examples where we’ve seen analytics have a huge impact, some of which you’ll hear about at the online conference. Others include British Columbia Egg, which saw a 66 percent reduction in farm inspection workload. Then there’s DC Water, which found $3 million in additional revenue by fixing water meters and also reduced customer calls by 36 percent. The City of Rotherham has eliminated multiple budget spreadsheets. SKAT, the Danish tax and customs agency, has experienced an 18 percent decrease in collections workload and increased collections of back taxes. Finally, Memphis Police Department has achieved a 30 percent reduction in overall crime. Those are
For more information:
· Register for “Analytics for Smarter Government,” (Oct. 17 at 11:00 am EDT) and discover how government organizations are using analytics to match programs to demands, deliver uninterrupted services, ensure the welfare and security of citizens and operate more efficiently.
· Download the complimentary ebook, “Government Analytics for Dummies”