Documents/IITS/2: Data

2: Data

Improve and Leverage Quality Data.

Other Information:

Traditionally, the federal government has spent hundreds of millions of dollars collecting data -- only to be stored forever and used once. However, over the past several years we have demonstrated that we can use data for new purposes. The private sector has analyzed and integrated disparate data sources for years. For example, the financial industry applies data analytics to credit card charges that trigger alerts when a "suspected" theft has occurred and bars future customer purchases until the situation is clarified. The retail Industry applies data analytics to individual purchasing habits to target marketing campaigns and maximize store locations and interior organization. Both of these efforts have paid huge benefits to these industries by saving money and bringing focus to activities that impact their corporate bottom line. Data analytics can impact the federal budget in similar ways through: the identification of overlapping or redundant programs across government, the determination or confirmation that benefits are delivered equitably, the cost-benefit analysis of federal spending on strategic programs compared to other high priority programs, an analysis of graduate skills against areas of job growth, an analysis of program outcomes against the policy decisions that shaped them, and others. Making government data publicly available can improve government accountability and enable private sector development of new software tools and services that leverage government data. The taxpayers already paid for the data, we should tap into the potential value of those assets. Until very recently, using data more effectively was a challenge because data was stuck in applications and could not be accessed for new uses. New technologies are now available to help solve this problem.