Deriving data insights through analytics is no longer just nice to have – it is critical for the operation and improvement of government, especially in times of crisis.
But there are many challenges to deriving insights, whether that’s having the data available to analyze or having the right skills to analyze the data.
Automation can help. For years, agencies have strategically adopted digital technologies to transform their business processes and services. But according to a 2018 McKinsey report, only a third of initiatives have succeeded.
Those who succeeded were able to flourish because they converged these three pillars for digital transformation: data democratization, process automation and people upskilling.
Analytic process automation (APA) meets all three needs at once by addressing the whole analytics lifecycle through one unified platform.
“We’re helping states rebuild critical unemployment systems with analytic automation, enabling agencies to deliver on their mission and get critical support to citizens,” said Andy MacIsaac, Solutions Marketing Director at Alteryx, an analytics solutions provider.
Essentially, to democratize data is to make it available for analysis. But this can be challenging, considering the sheer amount and variety of data types and sources.
APA can automate the huge amounts of data that need to be ingested, and a data-agnostic platform can enable organizations to input various data types, everything from traditional local files and applications to information collected on bots and sensors.
APA platforms allow the greatest amount of data to be leveraged and streamlines the process to prepare it for analysis.
Second, APA focuses on delivering high-value insights by streamlining low-value tasks.
From data prep and blending all the way to predictive and prescriptive analytics, APA automates and unifies analytic steps by providing users with over 260 automation building blocks that cover the full spectrum of the analytics lifecycle.
“Mundane tasks like compiling data and joining spreadsheets is not high-value work,” MacIsaac said. “It’s important work – it has to happen – but if you can automate those processes, then your data team and analysts can focus on what they have a passion for, and that’s uncovering insights.”
With automation freeing up employees’ time, they can focus on building their skill sets as well.
Data skills are in high demand but low supply. So, how can you grow these skills through the creative talent you already have within your organization? This is the spark for cultural change to build a digital-ready workforce.
A code-free or code-friendly platform with guided models and community forums can invite even those without technical data skills to engage in analytics and learn as they go.
“What we enable is our data workers to unleash their creativity and problem-solving skills. And when that happens, organizations are going to reap the benefits of their data and analytics capabilities,” MacIsaac said. “That’s the benefit of APA through the Alteryx platform.”