Arkansas prepares to use data analytics to detect fraud

Chief Technology Officer Mark Myers lays out his vision for how analyzing the state's data could change Arkansas' government.

Arkansas Chief Technology Officer Mark Myers plans to lead a push over the next year to transform his state with data analytics.

Myers said his Department of Information Systems will start small, first looking to try out analytical tools on the “low-hanging fruit” of the state’s data. Specifically, he said he hopes to start the process by compiling information on Medicaid and unemployment applications, then sift through that data to detect fraud.

“We know it’s out there, we know it exists, and we know the analytical tools that exist today,” Myers told StateScoop at the National Association of State Chief Information Officers’ annual conference in October.

If the state can see success with those efforts, Myers thinks his department can start to expand its focus.

“Then we’ll try and transform and see what can we do if we put more structured and unstructured data in a pool and begin to mine it and see what pops up,” Myers said.

To ease the process, Myers plans to consult with other states that have employed similar analytical options, like Indiana, Michigan and North Carolina. But he’s urging patience, noting this is a “not a tomorrow vision.”

“We’re having the conversations about what other things we want to do, looking for the business case,” Myers said.

Alex Koma

Written by Alex Koma

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