Virginia Secretary of Technology Karen Jackson walked into the conference room filled with the teams of state employees who took part in the state’s first ever Datathon, raised her arms and delivered a simple message: “You guys rock!”
The proclamation came in the middle of the 17th annual Commonwealth of Virginia Innovative Technology Symposium, better known as COVITS, Wednesday at a Richmond, Va., hotel.
Earlier in the day, the teams of hackers – made up of technology teams from different agencies around the state – presented their projects to both a panel of expert judges and the conference attendees, who each got to vote for the best team.
“We always talk about collaboration and innovation, and we really wanted to give the state’s employees a sandbox and some tools that they could use to show their creativity,” Jackson told StateScoop. “What this did was give them an opportunity to use state data and build whatever they wanted. It’s been an incredibly exciting project.”
The competition is believed to be the first of its kind among state governments around the country. Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe came to the event not only to deliver a keynote address but also to view the projects created.
He sees technology and data as a key economic driver to helping Virginia be successful, he explained in this interview with StateScoop.
The datathon, the pet project of Deputy Secretary of Technology Anthony Fung, put teams from different Virginia agencies together and challenged them to create applications using state data.
The teams were not limited by their normal work focus either. For example, the team from the Virginia Department of Transportation, which took home one of the audience choice awards, created an application that allows citizens to look and prepare for jobs in the Commonwealth.
The other winners included “The Dataholics,” a team from Virginia’s Information Technologies Agency, otherwise known as VITA, which took the second audience choice award, and a team from the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality that was voted the winner by the judging panel.
— Data.Virginia (@DataVirginia) September 3, 2014
— VITA (@VITAagency) September 3, 2014
At the event, McAuliffe also named the winners of the 17th Governor’s Technology Awards, which recognize public sector information technology programs that have improved government service delivery and efficiency. Those awards are also voted on by a panel of experts.
The winners of those awards were:
Cross-Boundary Collaboration On IT Initiatives
- Winner: Identity and Access Management Service, Fairfax County
- Winner: Birth Certificates on Demand, Virginia Departments of Health and Motor Vehicles
- Finalist: Leading Flood Impact Prediction, City of Poquoson, NASA Langley Research Center
IT as Efficiency Driver – Government to Citizen
- Winner: UVA Telehealth, Telemedicine, University of Virginia Center for Telehealth, Office of Telemedicine
- Winner: Ready Virginia Mobile Application, Virginia Department of Emergency Management
- Winner: QR Codes, Mobile Apps, Paying Taxes, Fairfax County Departments of Information Technology and Tax Administration
- Finalist: Manassas Interactive Map Gallery, City of Manassas
- Finalist: Kaine eMail Project, The Library of Virginia
IT as Efficiency Driver – Government to Business
- Winner: Outside VDOT, Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT)
- Winner: GIS One View, Roanoke City Communication and IT Departments
- Finalist: Economic Development Tracking Application, City of Danville
- Finalist: Going Green in Frederick County, Frederick County Commissioner of the Revenue
IT as Efficiency Driver – Government to Government
- Winner: Technology Training Anytime, Anywhere, Albemarle County
- Winner: Time, Attendance and Leave System (TAL), Virginia Department of Human Resource Management
- Finalist: LouisaICE – Incident Command Environment, Louisa County
- Finalist: DMV Connect, Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles
Innovative Use of Technology in Local Government
- Winner: Enhanced Situational Awareness, City of Charlottesville, Albemarle County, University of Virginia, Commonwealth of Virginia
- Winner: Connect Tannersville, Tazewell County and Tazewell Wireless Services Authority
- Winner: myStafford Citizen Portal, Stafford County Treasurer’s Office
- Finalist: HUBZone Business Employment Platform, City of Fredericksburg
- Finalist: Stormwater Collections Database & Application, Roanoke County Communications and Information Technology Department & Roanoke County Department of Community Development
- Finalist: CountyGIS, Chesterfield County Information Systems Technology Department
Innovative Use of Technology in Education
- Winner: Virginia Education Wizard Mobile App, Virginia Community College System
- Finalist: A Low-Cost Multi-Modal Simulator, Old Dominion University’s Virginia Modeling, Analysis, and Simulation Center (VMASC), Eastern Virginia Medical School
- Finalist: EduWidgets, Virginia Department of Education, Office of Digital Innovation
Innovative Use of Technology – Big Data and Analytics
- Winner: Community Crime Map, City of Danville
- Winner: CSA Data Integration and Analysis, Virginia Secretary of Health and Human Resources, Office of Comprehensive Services
- Finalist: Virginia Lottery DataLand, Virginia Lottery
- Finalist: VDH Health District Profile, Virginia Department of Health, Office of Information Management and Health IT
Innovative Use of Technology – Open Data
- Winner: Virginia Environment Geographic Information System, Virginia Department of Environmental Quality
- Finalist: Citizen Relationship Management, Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles
Best Citizen Portal
- Winner: dmvNOW.com, DMV’s Mobile/Web Citizen Portal, Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles
- Finalist: James City County Web Presence – Redesigned, James City County