Using Data Analytics to Improve Mission Outcomes


Using Data Analytics to Improve Mission Outcomes

Wednesday, October 8th, 2014 - 14:01



In an event last week, the IBM Center for The Business of Government and the Partnership for Public Service added to a significant body of knowledge about how government leaders can leverage the power of analytics and data to make better decisions. This event was the culmination of a series of interviews with pioneers in analytics in a wide range of federal agencies.

In a panel discussion, three government leaders detailed the lessons learned from their experience that can help other agencies in the sound use of analytics to make decisions.  Specifically:

Gerald Ray


Social Security Administration (SSA) - Gerald Ray runs the Disability Appeals process.  He observed that the disability review process required significant knowledge of regulatory compliance as well as the specifics of each individual case.   SSA used analytics to pinpoint training improvements needed to make the review process much more effective in terms of faster and more accurate results for the individuals seeking a review.   As a result, the agency was able to accelerate training time frames, provide the right information to review staff, and achieve measurable improvements in service.


Malcolm Bertoni


Food and Drug Administration (FDA) - Malcolm Bertoni helps lead FDA reviews of drug applications that are critically important to get valuable medical services into the market to help people, while ensuring safety and effectiveness of those drugs.  The FDA used pilot projects to build on successes and was clear about results so that the program and affected public understood the results of these analytics-driven results.  In the end, these analytics programs improved the efficiency and accuracy of their reviews.



Dan Liddell


Transportation Security Administration (TSA) - Dan Liddell is a senior advisor for performance.  He focused on creating an analytics program to help achieve TSA’s mission of protecting the travelling public.  TSA leveraged data to understand the performance needs of all the government partners who work alongside TSA in an airport.  TSA also focused on the training needs to ensure that government agencies are equipped to deliver strong performance.  This led to the identification of hundreds of unique skills to assess and understand the efficacy of different approaches to training that lead to higher productivity – enabling TSA to test the results of improvements.  More importantly, this approach enabled TSA to build a stronger team-oriented approach to achieving results.


In addition to the knowledge shared by these three federal leaders, on our website, we provide a series of podcast interviews with other federal executives on how they are using data and analytics to carry out a wide range of missions, such as:  preventing and countering tax fraud, improving training, responding to emergencies, protecting investors, keeping food safe, and more. The podcasts provide insights into the essential ingredients for a successful analytics program, and offer advice from leaders whose agencies are benefiting from analyzing data.  We are also featuring each government executive weekly on our blog to further understand the best practices of each analytics program.

Federal leaders profiled in our podcasts lead complex programs in some of the agencies in government that have greatest impact on citizens, who benefit greatly from leveraging data as a strategic asset in program operations. These leaders include:

Steve Beltz, Recovery Accountability and Transparency Board
Malcom Bertoni, Food and Drug Administration
Lisa Danzig, Office of Management and Budget
Carter Hewgley, Federal Emergency Management Agency
Gerald Ray, Social Security Administration
Dean Silverman, Internal Revenue Service


The IBM Center hopes that the results of this ongoing collaboration with the Partnership helps agencies continue to enhance their ability to leverage analytics in a way that improves mission results.


The Business of Government Blogs

Lisa Danzig, OMB: Conversations on Using Analytics to Improve Mission Outcomes by guest blogger, Brian Murrow
Making Data Real – Weekly Insights by Dan Chenok
Making Data Real – Lessons From and For Federal Leaders by Dan Chenok


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