State governments have a lot of data. The nature of what they do means that massive amounts of data pile up whether it’s through court records, employment data, healthcare information, and more. Traditionally, states have used the data that they hold to prepare reports for things like appropriations and to give the public transparency into state activities. States are now increasingly trying to make use of this data in meaningful ways.
Recently, The Pew Charitable Trusts interviewed officials in every state to uncover deeper insights into the challenges and opportunities associated with using this type of data. It turned out that while some states are using their data well, others simply can’t for a variety of reasons. Of the individual projects that have been completed, different states were able to address the opioid crisis, assist those with chronic healthcare issues, reduce vehicle fleet expenditures, and examine program effectiveness.
These successful projects are generally more of an exception to the rule though. This is because of the numerous roadblocks that states run into, administrative or otherwise. For starters, it’s difficult to share information between government agencies, and adds a layer of compliance and privacy that may not have otherwise been present. Additionally, state governments are never really in a position where budgets aren’t a concern. Generally they’re facing pressure to reduce expenditures rather than be bringing on new stuff to help with data analysis.
If a state is planning on moving forward with a project like this, it’s important that goals and structures are established at the outset, that data is high quality, there are effective stakeholders working with the data, and that there is ongoing support for the project. These things ensure that your state can have actionable data to make a substantive impact on future policy decisions.
At Extract, we’re here to make sure your data is accurate and delivered to you quickly from your unstructured documents. If there are privacy concerns, we can automate your redaction process as well. If you’re interested in learning more about how we can help, reach out today and we’d be happy to fill you in.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: CHRIS MACK
Chris is a Marketing Manager at Extract with experience in product development, data analysis, and both traditional and digital marketing. Chris received his bachelors degree in English from Bucknell University and has an MBA from the University of Notre Dame. A passionate marketer, Chris strives to make complex ideas more accessible to those around him in a compelling way.