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Welcome back and happy new year. In our last post in 2011, we wrapped up our discussion on how one commercial organization, Wal-Mart, has effectively used analytics to improve its operational performance. We also provided some examples of government departments and agencies that have implemented analytics and explained how they are using analytics to improve their service to citizens.
To kick off the new year, what better to blog about than the future; the future of analytics that is. Over the next two blog posts, we will explore how analytics will allow us to learn from data in the moment to predict and influence possible outcomes.
What will the future look like?
Currently, many firms or agencies that have adopted analytics are focusing on organizing their data and setting up better dashboard and reporting capabilities so that they can better analyze the true drivers of performance. The current applications of analytics drive significant improvements in efficiency. (Research demonstrates that firms adopting analytics outperform their peers.) This current work is building the foundation from which to extend the potential of analytics. Current applications of analytics usually emphasize a historical view of the data. Future analytics will shift the focus from analyzing what worked in the past to what is happening right now — and what the future may look like.
In the future, it will no longer be enough to analyze historical data. The new competitive advantage will go to the team best able to understand the current environment, predict future outcomes, and learn how changes impact outcomes quicker than anyone else. Government agencies will apply these principles to continue to dramatically cut costs while simultaneously drive performance improvement.
Principle 1: Understand the Current Environment
Future analytics solutions will take advantage of real time data streams to understand the current environment now. Government analytics is quickly advancing in its ability to collect data from employees, citizens and the world around them in real time. The government is also connecting its data collection across agencies and with private institutions to continue to drive a more accurate picture of current performance. Government mandates are constantly demanding more relevant performance data from all corners of government.
Example: One federal-government agency is implementing a geospatial analysis tool that will be available to all employees. The agency plans to launch a product that will allow for basic analysis of its core data. The vision for the future includes linking real-time data feeds to this geospatial tool so every employee can act as an analyst by observing the impact and trends of real-time events.
Coming up next
This is just the start! Join us next time as we get delve into the two remaining principles to predict future outcomes and learn how changes impact outcomes. Applying these principles will be necessary to achieving the vision of the future.
Let us hear from you
In the meantime, what does the future of analytics mean to your organization? Please join in our conversation.
Mr. Treworgy has over 20 years of analytics and project management experience. In addition to his primary focus on United States departments and agencies, he also has carried out work for a number of government organizations in Europe and Africa. A thought leader in the area of strategy and information analytics, Mr. Treworgy publishes frequent articles, presents often at conferences, and has provided expert witness testimony on several occasions, including at a joint Senate / House of Representatives hearing. He graduated with a BA in Economics from Williams College and an MBA from Harvard University.
David Treworgy (email@example.com)
Greg Greben is Vice President and Market Leader for Business Analytics and Optimization (BAO), IBM Global Business Services, US Public Sector.