State government data analytics crawl out of infancy

Even with several states embracing data analytics programs to address government problems, the technology has a long way to go before it becomes part of the fabric of government.

Even while states like Michigan and Indiana use data analytics to help address some government issues, the use of analytics in government is still in its infancy, said Chris Sullivan, sales director for state government at Teradata.

“We’re seeing pockets of analytics being built up to deliver a specific function,” Sullivan told StateScoop in a video interview at the National Association of State Chief Information Officers annual conference. “I might have part of the organization building out a text analytics function because they want to look at fraud prevention, so they’ll deliver a test function and then somebody else might be using another tool and doing a predictive modeling technique.”

Through these pockets of analytics efforts, state government is tapping data analytics, and it might lead to a greater adoption in the future, Sullivan said, but for now, things are progressing slowly.

“Ultimately, that might lead them down the path of building more stovepipe solutions,” Sullivan said. “The key for [states] is to build what we would call a multi-genre tool or experience with analytics and be able to do all of those techniques in one pass against the data.”

To get to that point, states should be focusing on multiple applications of data, data security and more sharing and integration across the state government enterprise, Sullivan said. The move to the cloud in state government should also ease the burden on IT officials, he said especially as they embrace more intensive analytics.

“Hopefully that will change, and [states] will begin to integrate the data and drive down the amount of storage they have,” Sullivan said.

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