Without business intelligence, finding insight in data can feel about as efficient as draining the ocean one teaspoon at a time. And when you finally get to the answer you sought, your data is probably old news. Data integration and efficient business intelligence (BI) ensure you find not just the data you need, but the insight you need from it, right where and when you need it. Answering critical questions is easier when you have immediate access to easily understood information.
For state government agencies, this kind of access proves especially useful. Here are three examples of why that’s true.
Business Intelligence Helps Government Agencies Identify Inefficiencies
BI refers to the technologies and processes that collect, store, and analyze the data produced by an organization. For state government agencies that are continually seeking ways to improve their processes, BI can offer powerful insights.
Here’s one example: A report from the National Institute of Justice shows that one of the most serious challenges facing Departments of Corrections across the country is a shortage of qualified workers. From recruitment to training to retention, correctional administrators often struggle to do more with less. As a result, inefficiencies anywhere in the process can lead to some significant consequences, exacerbating an already difficult problem.
By using business intelligence, state agencies of all specialties can rely on their own data to identify obstacles in their hiring pipelines, the way they communicate with constituents, their distribution of resources, and their delivery of services. This empowers them to shore up their own efforts and also to make better decisions about where to focus their energies.
State Government Agencies Can Use Business Intelligence to Improve Processes
For decades, the long lines at the DMV have been the butt of many a joke, riffed on by hacky comedians between sets on airline food. But those punchlines point to a very real problem, one centered on inefficiencies and a poor customer experience.
That’s why some agencies have made serious efforts to use BI to improve their own processes. For instance, one DMV’s review of their processes uncovered the fact that they used separate databases for all 90 counties in the state. As you can probably imagine, this was a bad experience for everyone involved.
By analyzing their own data and using that data to drive modernization, the department has made huge strides toward improving their processes. That’s the kind of progress any government agency would feel proud of.
Business Intelligence Can Make Government Agencies More Agile
The COVID-19 pandemic put massive pressure on government healthcare agencies across the country. State agencies had to navigate multiple major disruptions at once, including the shift to virtual work; use federal emergency funds efficiently; and serve communities in crisis.
Unfortunately, many agencies quickly discovered they simply were not prepared to absorb all these changes. Their hiring processes were inefficient, their technology was outdated, and the speed of the pandemic outpaced their ability to process data quickly enough to keep up with community trends.
While the pandemic would have been a crisis under any circumstances, problems could have been mitigated if agencies had BI capabilities to identify inefficiencies and bottlenecks early on. When states are empowered with efficiency and can make data-driven decisions before there’s a crisis, they can respond with speed when crisis does hit, as Indiana was able to help families get pandemic nutrition assistance.
Originally published March 23, 2022. Updated December 11, 2023.