This blog post is an excerpt from GovLoop’s recent guide “7 Tips to Transform Your Data Into Compelling Stories.” Download the full guide here.
Federal employees often don’t feel like heroes, particularly during this time of extreme scrutiny of the U.S. government. Many spend their days behind desks instead of wearing capes, and the work they do might not fit the stereotype of heroic. Rather, it seems necessary, at best, or tedious, at worst.
But today, federal workers have the potential to make a real difference in the ways agencies serve citizens, and data is at the center of the movement. By fostering data literacy, operability and governance, agency leaders can remove the friction in their data pipelines, clearing the way for data heroes throughout their organizations.
Inefficiencies and ineffectiveness in how agencies manage their data have led to gridlock, which is why GovLoop spoke with Andrew Churchill, vice president for Federal Sales at Qlik, about possible fixes. Qlik offers solutions to democratize actionable data within agencies and generate smarter business decisions.
The friction that Churchill refers to plagues public sector agencies and takes place in three forms: policy, technology and pedigree. With regards to friction, policy refers to the absence of ownership and strategy around data management, technology refers to legacy systems that cannot integrate or muddle data, and pedigree refers to the lack of data quality. Fortunately, solutions are now more accessible than ever, and new processes can capture the value of data from collection to disposal. Data operations, or data ops, incorporates data into every aspect of the business process, breaking down traditional barriers between analytics and business departments.
“We’re looking at data as an enterprise asset – not one person’s set of data,” Churchill said.
Implementing data ops requires a data governance plan, which assigns roles and policies related to data throughout its usage. Data governance plans ensure standardization, lines to business and technological integration. Data strategies, meanwhile, can dictate how data, analytics and data-based emerging technologies – like artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning – improve business within an organization.
Companies like Qlik can help resolve all three elements of friction. Qlik has partnered with chief data officers to build out data governance plans and data strategies, and it offers the technology to make them work. Solutions offered by Qlik practice data ops, making data available throughout the enterprise so that it can be securely acted on, using a single source of truth, AI engines and data visualization tools.
Agencies can no longer afford to read from different books when it comes data. They need to be on the same page to foster data literacy, operability and governance so workers at all levels can use data to become heroes.