Sep 12 2016

NASCIO: To Hit Data Management Home Runs, State Leaders Must Play on the Same Team

While data analytics relies on technology, it requires a partnership between IT and non-IT in order to be successful.

The good news is that the conversation around data analytics and business intelligence has matured well beyond establishing a business case for it. Given the trajectory that state and local governments are on due to the excitement around Smart Cities, it’s clear that the future of government technology will require and rely on data analytics and business intelligence to measure and optimize operations.

But the question that most state and local governments face is, now that we have this data, what are we going to do with it?

Data management, like any IT project, requires significant pondering and planning, and it also requires collaboration across IT and business lines.

In “Better Decisions, Better Government: Effective Data Management Through a Coordinated Approach,” an official guide on data management strategies from the National Association of State Chief Information Officers (NASCIO), the case for involving stakeholders beyond IT should be made at the onset of any data management program.

“One of the first keys is understanding that data management is not just an IT function. Successful implementation will only result from a joint engagement with both IT and business,” the report states.

What does successful collaboration between IT and the non-IT stakeholders look like? Here’s what NASCIO sees as the outcomes of a successful, coordinated data management strategy:

  • Reduced costs and increased revenue by improving operations and reducing fraud, waste and abuse
  • Reduced risk and crime by improving the analytics employed by social services and public safety
  • Streamlined interactions with citizens by consolidating citizen information and touch points with government
  • Increased security, control and privacy of data by implementing appropriate data governance policies and procedures
  • Better, more informed decision-making

To further make its point, NASCIO turns to a baseball analogy to highlight why this combined input and effort is key to success:

Think of this process like a sporting event. The overall goal, along with the rule book that the players must follow is something everyone must agree to and understand.

The rulebook (process) is defined by the governance organization while the players (people) must follow those rules. You can think of the equipment (technology) being there to help the players follow the rules and play the game to the best of their ability.

Imagine a baseball game where there are no rules, no consistent way to keep score or any way to anticipate what is going to happen. The resulting game would be chaos.

So if the state’s or local government’s chief data officer or CIO is the star batter, how can he or she ensure more data management home runs?

Here are 10 steps to data management home runs, courtesy of NASCIO:

  1. Build Your Business Case
  2. Establish Executive Support
  3. Define Vision and Scope
  4. Recognize Your Challenges
  5. Identify Supporting Technologies
  6. Identify and Define the Necessary Roles and Responsibilities
  7. Develop a Training Strategy
  8. Establish Policy
  9. Employ Enterprise Portfolio Management (EPM)
  10. Start Small and Grow

For more details on NASCIO’s data management recommendations, check out the full report on