Issues such as COVID-19, economic recovery and rising homicide rates are rarely contained within one team – or one data source. To tackle pressing issues, state and local agencies are improving their processes of collaborating and sharing data to drive solutions. Here are some examples.
Indiana Builds Data Pipelines, Filling 90% of Vaccination Vacancies in One Area
Communication on vaccination takes more than the right words – it takes the right data.
When Indiana’s public health department approached the Management Performance Hub (MPH), an analytics agency, for help with vaccination outreach, MPH already had a data tool it could use.
MPH was created at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic for a different purpose: to help researchers assess the coronavirus’s prevalence. It needed a random population sampling to accurately study the infection rate, which MPH put together through gathering data from various sources, said Joshua Martin, Indiana’s CDO.
This data pipeline came into use months later to communicate with specific age groups and, eventually, the public, about vaccine appointments.
The iterated pipeline became particularly valuable for reaching one area, where only 10% of vaccine appointments were filled.
- That meant 90% of appointments were open, but residents were not signing up for them.
Using the same data tool, MPH and the public health department then pushed notices to people in targeted ZIP codes.
- The result: Within an hour, the 90% vacancy became zero.
Oregon Closes Data Gaps to Help Oregonians Recover From COVID-19
Oregon is only two years into its enterprise data journey, but it is emphasizing constituents as a critical component from the start.
“It’s not only a matter of what kind of analytic tools can we deploy, or which questions are we asking, which are all important, but really partnering with communities and community-based organizations to make sure our constituents’ voices are heard when it comes to leveraging data,” said Kathryn Darnall Helms, the state’s Chief Data Officer.
Helms said the goal is to leverage data as a strategic asset to “support all Oregonians.”
Take financial recovery, for example. Consumer spending bounceback is an important piece to COVID-19 recovery. But when it comes to conducting spending analyses, people who use cash are left out of the data.
To understand COVID-19’s impact on residents who are less visible, Oregon is crafting a gap analysis and identifying qualitative data, such as interviews and oral histories, to achieve a whole picture.
North Carolina Runs a Health Information Exchange for 13 Million Patients
North Carolina’s Government Data Analytics Center (GDAC) is overseeing a health information exchange program that serves millions of people outside of the state. The health information exchange improves care quality by allowing clinical data to be shared with authorized health care providers across a secure network.
- GDAC has partnerships with the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and other states, serving 13 million patients in total.
The expansive data exchange alone is a feat to celebrate, but it isn’t the only one, said John Correllus, North Carolina’s Deputy Chief Information Officer (CIO) and Chief Data Officer.
- Improved collaboration between agencies with GDAC’s help is just as commendable.
“One of the other successes is actually not us necessarily doing the data in analytic form but facilitating the conversation with other agencies so they’re sharing more effectively, whether that’s providing an instrument or being able to have them talk the same language, so data-sharing can happen,” Correllus said.
Philadelphia Shares Smart City Data to Reduce Violence
Unexpected partners can arise with data education.
One of the main functions of Philadelphia’s smart city program – SmartCityPHL – is not only collecting data but educating stakeholders on the value of it.
For example, the agency collects microscale urban data, information collected from the built environment through artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning, to help the city better understand the quality of public spaces.
Smart City Director Emily Yates expected the Streets Department or Parks & Recreation to primarily find this data helpful. But instead, the Office of Violence Prevention approached her team with interest in learning more.
- Rising homicide rates and the correlation between quality of the built environment and reduction of violence made microscale urban data a valuable tool for the office. With it, the agency could co-create interventions to lower homicide rates in the context of movements to defund the police.
“The hope is that we can reframe the conversation that has some … tensions between the community and police, utilizing this data that isn’t typically brought into these conversations,” Yates said.