State CIOs need to change culture around data sharing

For state chief information officers who consistently prioritize data and analytics, culture change is the best route forward, two state CIOs say.

On the latest episode of StateScoop’s Priorities podcast, Interim Illinois CIO Jack King and Utah CIO Mike Hussey encourage others to understand what their respective agencies want to do with data beyond just getting access to it.

“We have a lot of independent thinkers who are stuck in interdependent processes,” King says on the podcast. “Part of it is changing the culture and getting folks to understand that we really want to identify opportunities to change the citizen journey in how they interact across the state.”

Hussey agreed, and emphasized that governance can play a role to make sure that happens.

“The challenge is making sure that governance is there across all agencies while at the same time providing the use and the potential for that data for the citizen and for the agencies,” Hussey says. “All of the data is really collected, curated for a specific purpose, but when you start to have that purpose cross agencies and cross into specific areas that it wasn’t expected to go to, then all of the sudden you introduce interesting challenges into that data.”

For King, overcoming those challenges happens by aligning agencies with business goals, and empowering them with the potential of what data analytics projects can achieve for them.

“A lot of the times, it’s making sure that we’re aligning what traditionally were standalone agencies or folks who thought in terms of the services that were strictly being delivered out of their agency or department, versus somebody — a citizen — whose journey might touch multiple departments,” King says.

On the podcast:

  • Mike Hussey, chief information officer, Utah
  • Jack King, interim chief information officer and chief technology officer, Illinois
  • Jake Williams, associate publisher and director of strategic initiatives, StateScoop

Things to listen for:

  • Utah is working alongside Salt Lake City and other state and local agencies to use data to combat homelessness in the state’s capital.
  • As of last count, Illinois was sitting on more than 14 petabytes of data.
  • Going forward, Hussey expects to lean in to some of the state’s early quick wins with data and analytics and translate that into a more widespread understanding of data’s power statewide.
  • Illinois’ Department of Innovation and Technology has worked with the state’s revenue department, board of education and juvenile justice department on data analytics projects.

Priorities is StateScoop’s podcast chronicling the top 10 priorities of state chief information officers. The show is based on the National Association of State Chief Information Officers’ annual list of top 10 priorities, and produced in partnership with the association.