Data Analytics Blog - Real-World Applications | MicroStrategy

Four Ways Governments Gain With Big Data Analytics

It’s no secret that government bodies are complex. Whether it's at the local, state, or national level, these groups deal with a colossal amount of information needed to properly protect and serve their citizens. As we learned from the federal panel at MicroStrategy World, government is ripe for a data analytics revolution. 

Let’s take a look at some of the changes our customers are seeing.

  1. Improved Service for Citizens

    The ultimate goal of any government is to provide quality service and protection to its citizens. With public sentiment calling for greater transparency, many federal bodies face increased pressure to better communicate information to their citizens. Analytical tools offer the ability to govern data and easily share it with constituents, but it’s not enough to simply implement a data analytics solution–they need to be used to make agencies more efficient and produce better results. 

    Data plays a key role in this service. Officials across departments use analytics to closely follow statistics and trends, and derive insights for more proactive legislation.

    Improved Service in Action:

    • One MicroStrategy customer in the transportation sector collects, analyzes, and reports on data pertaining to passengers, wait times, and equipment—improving efficiency and delivering an estimated cost savings of $100 million per year. This agency uses a single control center to compare what’s happening at all of its transportation hubs, allowing them to change strategy as necessary.
    • The United States Postal Service is using real-time data to take its operations to the next level. Predictive analytics are used to resolve issues before they impact consumers. For example, USPS can dynamically change delivery routes and times to accommodate increased volume.
    • The City of Austin monitors, tracks, and maps crime statistics on a daily basis. The geo-spatial data visualizations used by the police department enable the city to make smarter decisions about where to dispatch police resources, increasing safety and cost efficiency.
  2. Better Allocation of Taxpayer Dollars

    We’ve talked before about how business intelligence tools allow enterprises to unlock efficiencies that save time and money. The same holds true for government. A robust BI platform is a wise investment of taxpayer money as it needs little to no backend development, requiring far fewer resources and freeing up money for other projects. Officials spend less time and money putting together ad-hoc spreadsheets and reports, and more dollars on new initiatives.

    Better Allocation in Action:

    • The Austin local government used to receive multiple requests from different internal agencies for the same data. The redundancy caused the IT department to shift their focus from systems management to the tedious task of answering specific user questions. Now, with the proper BI system in place, all departments can access reports quickly and easily, and direct their attention to more complex, higher value problems.
    • Many federal agencies allocate funding in the form of grants and vouchers to select population segments, organizations, or state and local governments. MicroStrategy’s customers use comprehensive tools to help track grant distributions by recipient, category, and location, and measure the effectiveness of those investments. They can then apply this knowledge when evaluating future grant proposals.
  3. Ability to Visualize Complex Problems

    Entrusted with delivering programs and services to millions of citizens dispersed across wide geographies, federal and state governments are inherently complex, large-scale operations. Their agencies have huge workforces to manage, a multitude of facilities and assets to maintain, and legacy systems to maintain and upgrade. With all these moving parts, government agencies face the continual challenge of making well-informed decisions for many complex problems.

    With thousands of employees, federal and state governments are challenged to optimize workforce levels to meet current and projected needs. They are tasked with training and maintaining agency personnel while competing with private sector firms for top talent in their industry.

    Another complex problem faced by government is the continuous pressure to accelerate the adoption and integration of current technologies. Modernization efforts such as these are challenging public entities around the world to upgrade systems and improve capabilities. But with a heavy reliance on legacy platforms and data systems, agencies cannot simply abandon their prior investments while pursuing their public mandates.

    The MicroStrategy Analytics platform can seamlessly coexist with legacy BI platforms, enabling agencies to preserve prior investments while introducing new, state-of-the-art functionality. MicroStrategy provides scalable performance, advanced analytics, big data, native mobile apps, easy migration to cloud, data discovery, and SDK features—all deployed on top of existing systems. Its unified platform is ideal for government environments—as governed data helps to ensure that agencies are working with a single, consistent version of the truth.

    Visualizing Problems in Action:

    • The City of Austin is a pioneer in data visualization with an application that uses dashboards to increase employee visibility among executive users. The app delivers a comprehensive view of their workforce by blending HR and institutional data from multiple systems—presenting it in a clear, comprehensive manner. Key decision-makers can interact with intuitive visualizations and quickly digest KPIs, allowing them to identify previously unknown trends and take proactive steps to address them.
    • The General Services Administration, like many government agencies, has legacy systems they can’t simply move on from. A modern analytics platform helps them maximize their existing investments in legacy systems by consolidating data from a wide variety of sources.
  4. Reduced Fraud and Abuse

    Fraud can occur across any number of transactions, and in many cases, the last line of defense against such behavior rests with government. Indeed, government agencies are responsible for setting and enforcing effective regulations to protect the public. But to successfully identify fraud and prosecute it, federal investigators need powerful tools and analytics that improve their ability to analyze data.

    Data analytics has the power to arm government bodies with the insight needed to identify potential cases of fraud and abuse. Auditors can leverage predictive analytics and exception-based reporting to uncover potential cases of fraud or non-compliant transactions. Blending and analyzing data from multiple sources allows for the discovery of hidden relationships, trends, and suspicious behaviors.

    Reduced Fraud in Action:

    • One government agency uses MicroStrategy dashboards and reports to proactively monitor individual companies for statistical anomalies related to unemployment insurance. Within the first month of deployment, this agency identified more than 2,000 cases that warranted investigations. By interacting with intuitive visualizations and threshold-based alerts, they can quickly spot behavior outside the realm of accepted benchmarks and promptly initiate an investigation.
    • It’s another customer’s job to give the President, Congress, and the American people objective data based on complex economic models. For example, if there’s legislation up around funding an initiative in the steel industry, they need to know how this investment will impact the overall steel market. Data analytics tools help them do this.

Want to learn more about how government agencies are using data analytics to improve operations? Check out our white papers on digital transformation in federal and municipal government.

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