The following post is an expert of GovLoop's recent report: Unlocking the Power of Government Analytics. The report features 10 steps to leveraging analytics in the public sector, to read all 10 tips, be sure to view the guide below.
Whether you are looking to implement predictive analytics, or to use your web data in a more compelling way, the GovLoop report, Unlocking the Power of Government Analytics, highlighted common challenges, case studies, and strategies to get you started. This report concludes with ten steps to truly leverage analytics in the public sector.
1. Collaborate with peers and work across silos to share data and resources
There is enormous value in finding and talking to people with similar challenges and have already worked through challenges while adopting analytics programs. Peers within an agency can serve as an imperative resource for the success of any analytics program.
Collaboration is also essential for analytics adoption. Agencies will have to work collaboratively across departments to share information and resources. This will also build trust, improve communications and help to develop a culture of analytics across the agency.
2. Know that strong leadership is needed.
Leadership needs to be in support of the analytics program, provide adequate resources and clearly chart a course for an analytics initiative within the agency. As Engel’s said, “without having that push from management for an analysis program and an expectation that analyses will be done and reports will be generated on some frequency, so that decisions will be made based on the findings, I don’t see analytics being successful.” Without leadership, analytics initiatives will not be able to fully leverage all the potential of making data driven decisions.
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3. Get a clear vision of how to use analytics to solve a problem.
For analytics programs to be truly successful, the program needs to be clearly mapped towards an organizational challenge or deficiency that can be solved with proper data analysis.
The importance of having a clear vision became extremely clear throughout our interviews and survey. One survey respondents said, “I have learned the best analyses are best completed by those who have a clear understanding of the mission of the agency and defined goals of the websites. Additionally, there must be a plan for implementation based on analytics gathered even with the current state of the budget.”
4. Identify the right data.
Start by understanding what data is needed to solve the problem, and know where to access share and store this information. This process is critical, agencies need to know that the data they have is the right data for the problem they are trying to solve. Once the right data has been identified, agencies can begin to benchmark data and measure against past performance for any indicators they define. As one survey participant identified, “Benchmarking as another data point to judge success; informed decision making.”
5. Address challenges for implementation.
Analytics presents a lot of challenges. Be sure to map these out front and think strategically how to solve and work through challenges. One strategy is to engage core stakeholders up front, and continue to integrate them throughout the process. This means clearly defining impact on related programs, which employees will be directly involved, and strategies needed.
With analytics, there may be changes to culture, and leaders will potentially be faced with organizational and cultural challenges. These challenges are common in any kind of technology adoption. Leaders must be aware that these challenges will be down the road. Imperative to the success of an analytics program is for a leader to show the underlying organizational value of analytics and how it will help guide the agency towards its goals. Further, a leader must be sensitive to any changes to the day –to- day changes for employees. In addition, agencies must be aware of wider culture shifts, especially in the realm of technology. To read all 10 tips, be sure to view the full guide.
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