How data analytics can boost your performance
- By Fred Baradari, Xerox Federal Solutions
- Feb 20, 2014
Since the most recent economic downturn that adversely affected the tax base, government executives have seen their budgets slip.
Meanwhile, hiring approvals are delayed, and many federal agencies have to deal with the reality of doing more with fewer resources.
A significant change is required, but some questions remain:
- How should large government agencies change their way of doing business?
- How should contractors help agencies deliver impactful results at an optimal price point?
Government executives frequently focus on their strategy and prioritization of portfolio projects; however, this approach will only get an organization so far. For a long-lasting transformation, an agency must concurrently address its strategy and its “business behavior” – the collective attitudes and patterns that drive performance within an organization.
By driving transformation, business behavior has a direct effect on decision-making cycles, procurement, budgeting, expenditure, and it outperforms strategy alone every time. This is where contractors play a major role and offer innovative and thought-leadership ideas to help government executives with new approaches.
So, where do business behavior patterns come from, and what are some examples?
The first step is to identify the best opportunities with highest impact for change or disruptive innovation. Every organization has accumulated substantial business data. To move forward, this historical data must be transformed into smart information – which means finding patterns on a massive scale and using them to provide deeper acumens, eliminating overlapping deliverables, reducing overheads and increasing output at an optimal price point.
Though the technical details of data analytics are of maximum concern to the technologists, they are of relatively little concern to senior executives in government and industry.
An executive charged with the creation of a strategic plan is little concerned with the inner workings of the data analytics solution used to inform his plan. Rather, he will have a business imperative that will need to be addressed, such as the number of steps/cycles/days to approve an invoice, or the number of man hours that it takes to approve a design review. The data analytics solution will merely be a tool that is used to help understand the data held by the organization.
Another example is the criminal justice system. Today, offenders are placed in over-crowded prisons across the country, and the cost is just sky rocketing. Data analytics can potentially identify behavior patterns and identify several offenders’ population segments to shift low-level offenders into much less expensive electronic monitoring programs and reduce the cost while addressing over-crowded prisons.
It seems that the current one-size-fits-all approach in the criminal justice system should be re-evaluated to identify best opportunities for innovation.
Implementing a data analytics solution that is optimized for organizational requirements can seem daunting, but just as with any other aspect of business operations, the key lies in applying the right technical staff and methodologies to achieve the desired result.
Fred Baradari is a vice president with Xerox Federal Solutions.