States need top-down approach to seize data’s benefits — experts

States have only recently started exploring data analytics indeed, it appeared on theNational Association of State Chief Information Officers annual top 10 priority list for the first time this year but already some have achieved noteworthy results.

On the latest episode of StateScoop Radios Priorities podcast,experts from Indiana andNorth Carolina talk about successes they’ve seen using thedatatheirstates gather.

But for a data analytics program to be effective, it’s important to get state leaders to buy in, guests said. A good way to do that is to demonstrate how it canhelp states make better business decisions and improve services.

Its start small, and then build on the successes, John Correllus, the director of North Carolina Government Data Analytics Center,said on the podcast. Thats how we engaged leadership, allowing them to see the value …and help promote the value of what weve done.

IndianaChief Information Officer Dewand Neely encouraged states to find a key challenge facing the state that requires multi-agency support to solveand use data to address it.

Theres not just a technical hurdle, theres a political hurdle as well, Neely said on the podcast. I think a way to combat both of those is finding that key project that has either been a struggle for the state that we know will take more than one entity to solve, and then get your policymakers and your executive leadership to buy into that.

On the podcast:

  • Dewand Neely, chief information officer, Indiana
  • John Correllus, director, North Carolina Government Data Analytics Center

Things to listen for:

  • AfterIndianaused data to reduce the states infant mortality rate, state CIO Dewand Neely wants to use the same strategy totackle recidivism.
  • John Correllus, director of theNorth Carolina Government Data Analytics Center, said the state aimsto address juvenile justice problems, and eventually reduce recidivism, as well. Correllus also said the state continues to work with leadership on governance standards and improve the processes surrounding data integration and sharing.
  • Indiana is learning best practicesfrom private sector companieslike Amazon. Neely said the state hopes to build a custom dashboard for citizens that uses location data to help direct them toward government services and shows them their past online interactions and engagements with government.
  • Thepoint of government collecting data is to improve citizen services, Correllus said. Agencies work to find out how well services are working, and what they could be doing to improve those services in the long run.

Priorities is StateScoops monthly podcast that examines the leading strategies, technologies and challenges that state CIOs expect to face this year.

Contact the reporter who wrote this story at and follow him on Twitter @JakeWilliamsDC .