Public Sector News: Using advanced analytics to benefit citizens

May 2015, Issue 3

Digital Marketing Lead, Public Services Sector, IBM Analytics

The public sector is changing the face of our cities, transforming our workforce and improving healthcare with data and analytics. What you might not know is that government agencies are leading and supporting these efforts. Here are some of the stories and articles that caught my attention this week.

How big data could reshape the American workforce

Many organizations are using data to personalize the shopping experience. What if all the crumbs of data we leave could dictate what courses a student takes or what jobs we apply for? Can big data really transform our workforce? "Especially optimistic about this data's potential is Aneesh Chopra, a fellow at the Center for American Progress and formerly the nation's first chief technology officer, under President Obama. While he recognizes the tensions between public and private collaboration, Chopra has a vision for a labor data co-op that could combine traditional government numbers with nimble, real-time data from private sites." —Meg Charlton for VICE News

 Delivering on the promise of big data

"An estimated 5.3 million Americans of all ages have Alzheimer's disease in 2015." Thankfully, advancement in technologies are helping exact change for citizens as government agencies employ data and analytics. The National Institutes of Health launched a new big data portal to help fight Alzheimer’s. "Federal agencies and businesses have different needs when dealing with big data, of course, but the ability to engage in collaborative analytics with many partners on a large scale is driving much of the activity in the federal government. The NIH portal will enable researchers from disparate areas of expertise to collaborate and quickly share research and analytical models based on the molecular and genome-related data from samples of the brains of 2,000 people who were afflicted with the disease, which currently has no cure."  —Sarah Lai Stirland for FCW

Customers' trust about personal data can't be bought

"About 91 percent of respondents do not want companies selling their data, even if customers are compensated for it.” And rightfully so, as privacy in our digital world is tenuous at best. Pundits are still debating, however, who should govern data privacy—the individual, companies or governments? With more companies offering up customers’ personal data for sale, governments are moving to intervene more deeply. In the US, for example, the Obama administration has proposed a wide-ranging bill intended to provide Americans with more control over the information that companies collect about them. In Europe, proposed data protection rules are being rewritten to reflect individual nations’ agendas. —Bain Insights for Forbes

How 12 cities are charting a course to being truly "smart"

"The new Urban Sustainability Directors Network (USDN) guide investigates how smart city solutions that use information communications technology (ICT) and big data to improve quality of life for citizens also can increase resilience and grow cities’ triple bottom line outcomes." As organizations improve operations with big data and analytics cities are seeing the possibilities if they too mimicked the private sector's big data embrace. "It’s clear that with investments such as the one made by former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg—a $42 million effort to help cities use data to drive decision making—the timing is right for cities, tech companies and others to work together to integrate technology and data into our daily lives.” —Melanie Nutter and Michael Crowley for Green Biz

NOAA’s data heads for the clouds

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is leading the open data efforts as it strives to protect our environment and support commercial weather, aviation, and insurance industries. With "over 20 terabytes per day" just from their observational data, the cloud is calling. "NOAA is America’s environmental intelligence agency, and its mission—to protect life and property, provide the information communities need to become resilient to severe weather- and climate-related events, and conserve and protect national resources—requires a great deal of number crunching...The sharing of knowledge and information with others is also part of NOAA’s mission...."  —Maia Hansen and Alan Steremberg for

How is big data and analytics impacting the way you live? What other public sector and analytics stories piqued your interest this week?

Use advanced analytics to benefit citizens.