(Scoop News Group)

State data chiefs name their most impactful analytics projects

States are constantly using data to measure, understand and influence outcomes in their communities — but these behind-the-scenes efforts often go uncelebrated.

Spurring economic development, reducing COVID-19 cases, improving transparency with the public and building the workforce are just a few of the ways state chief data officers said their work is creating better outcomes. In their own words, here are the data projects that matter most.

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Jeff Wolkove, state data management architect, Arizona

Jeff Wolkove, state data management architect, Arizona

“Policies drive change in state government. Building data management capabilities across more than 100 state agencies is a culture shift that requires a set of DM policies, backed by a widely-recognized framework. We support implementation of the DM policies with training, such as our data stewardship CBT program, which has been completed by nearly 10,000 state employees. We have also performed formal DM capability assessments at six of our largest agencies, providing them with a comprehensive roadmap to achieve their DM goals.”

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Scott Gaul, chief data officer, Connecticut

Scott Gaul, chief data officer, Connecticut

“As part of Connecticut’s efforts to improve diversity, equity and inclusion in our workforce, state agencies, human resources, equal employment opportunity and civil rights stakeholders and the Census State Data Center developed the steps to use new data in planning to better reflect the state’s current demographics. While the updated data is just one piece of a bigger puzzle, the sustained collaborative effort across multiple groups is the model that we can use to make and sustain progress in other areas.”

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Josh Martin, chief data officer, Indiana

Josh Martin, chief data officer, Indiana

In Indiana, we made the most impact with our work in data governance. We formed a data governance council of data professionals and work as an agency to foster a data-driven culture across state government. The state views data governance as a fundamental component of doing business and is committed to stewarding data, protecting information assets and guiding agencies on how to best maintain their information. We also aim to further develop our data proficiency program that educates all state employees about working with data. This helps ensure data and information are treated as a statewide asset and are readily available to support evidence-based decision-making and data-informed policy making to best serve our citizens.

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Patrick McLoughlin, chief data officer, Maryland

Patrick McLoughlin, chief data officer, Maryland

“Our first project out of the gate, after I started as CDO, was completion of the initial statewide data inventory. As part of the executive order that created the CDO position, Gov. Hogan required a data inventory to be developed and updated annually. The initial development was an awesome effort by the agency data officers to collect and turn this information around in a short time, setting the foundation for many of the data management initiatives we’re looking to accomplish over the next year.”

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Adam Carpenter, chief data officer, Montana

Adam Carpenter, chief data officer, Montana

“The most impactful data project we are working on is centralization in the cloud and reducing barriers to sharing between agencies. We are using a grant to load the state’s economic and infrastructure data into a warehouse that will feed a planning and development tool for use by the public, the state or private industry to assist in economic development in the state. We are also pushing hard to improve our egov capability so that we can improve the citizen experience when they interact with the state.”

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Carol Burroughs, chief data officer, North Carolina

Carol Burroughs, chief data officer, North Carolina

“The N.C. Department of Information Technology data team’s greatest accomplishment was leveraging the Government Data Analytics Center’s technical infrastructure and the critical personnel in place to integrate data in response to COVID-19 demands. Cross-agency data sharing and partnerships using GDAC’s scalable architecture and data governance platform put the state’s data assets to work to inform strategies related to the virus’ impacts on citizen and businesses. For example, the N.C. Health Information Exchange, within NCDIT, developed a near real-time dashboard integrating various COIVD-19 data sources on testing, diagnoses and symptoms. The dashboard shares indicators and mapping of disease progression to both the N.C. Division of Health Benefits and N.C. Division of Public Health.”

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