How Michigan fuels projects with big data

Big data is central to most of Michigan’s initiatives and helps the state provide better services to its residents, said David Behen, Michigans chief information officer, told StateScoop TV.

How are we using [data] to provide better customer service to our clients, who are almost 10 million citizens in the state of Michigan? Behen said in a video interview with StateScoop at the National Association of State Chief Information Officers midyear conference in April. The data that we have, and then the infrastructure and the technology that we have how do we start customizing services for the individual in the state of Michigan? Thats really where were going.

James McFarlane, the states director of customer service, agreed, and said the states enterprise information management has been one of Michigans largest areas of growth over the past few years.

With enterprise information management, its how we use information with our agencies, how we display that information and how we use it, McFarlane said. Weve made a lot of strides in that.

The state has made those strides through an information technology investment fund, which the Behens office has tapped to complete 19 projects on time and on budget over the last two years, as of April.

The state IT departments data focus fuels the states other two main priorities security and mobility. In those two areas, Behen and McFarlane agreed that collaboration and sharing among other states was essential to driving projects forward and innovating at the state level.

Talking about the applications, development, mobility, security, I really enjoy seeing what other states are doing and following some of those best practices, McFarlane said.

We do some things very well in Michigan, but we can always learn from other states, Behen said. In Michigan, we look at ourselves as a hybrid organization. What we do well, were going to continue to do well, but what we dont do well, lets bring in our partners and have them do that for us.