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The Value of Self-Service Analytics

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.

The President’s Management Agenda targeted “leveraging data as a strategic asset” as a cross-agency priority goal. This call to action didn’t come out of nowhere. Government agencies at all levels hold tremendous amounts of data, but oftentimes, legacy processes, organizational silos and a gap in data skills mean they are unable to take advantage of its potential.

Every day, the world is becoming more digital, causing organizations of all types, including government, to change. In this environment, data is making moves to the front of informed policy-making and service delivery.

Coupled with the increased recognition of the value of data is the evolution of advanced and easier-to-deploy analytic platforms, which have given rise to the “citizen data scientist.” In this sense, the democratization of data analytics has enabled employees to produce more value without having to know how to code or rely on the capabilities of classically trained data scientists.

“Agencies are starting to realize that data is a strategic asset,” Andy MacIsaac, Director of Public Sector Marketing at Alteryx, said. “They are understanding that there is a lot of insight about not only what is happening or what has happened, but also insight that can help predict what will happen and insight that can prescribe the best course of action.”

GovLoop spoke with MacIsaac and Sean Brophy, Vice President of Public Sector at Alteryx, about how data can be used to generate insights and power decisions. The Alteryx platform helps strengthen agencies’ ability to execute their missions using accessible and actionable intelligence.

The emergence of advanced self-service analytics platforms means people now have access to greater information and the power of insight.

In self-service analytic platforms, the ability to prep, blend and analyze information – including the ability to apply spatial, predictive and prescriptive processes – is all in one place.

With self-service analytics, the equation can be changed from the classic 80% data prep, 20% analysis to 20% data prep, 80% analysis, giving data workers more time to increase the organizational value of analytics.

With multiple reporting formats and user-friendly visualizations, the value of insight becomes more apparent to business leaders, and modern advanced analytics platforms can also work across data sources to ease the burden on IT.

In the context of advanced analytics, Alteryx provides organizations with the ability to catalog, consume, prep and blend data, and leverage predictive models that can be templatized, created, shared and governed. The Alteryx platform is built to support the collaboration and consumption of insight within a code-free or code-friendly environment, and its flexibility welcomes a variety of data sources.

“There’s an opportunity for wins all the way around, where a business is getting what they want, and if managed properly, IT is actually implementing a data governance strategy,” Brophy said. “And with a more analytical government, citizens win too.”

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