Authored by: Sara Marshall
Governor Mike Pence wanted to focus on running moving state government at the speed of business—and a main focus was improving technology. The establishment of Executive Order 14-6 the Management and Performance Hub (MPH), created an initiative to centrally store and manage data and share it across all departments. That’s when the state government sought out to tackle a big issue: unusually high infant mortality rates.
The state’s data infrastructure made tackling problems like infant mortality difficult. Traditionally, the state would spread funding evenly across initiatives, targeting the issues that officials “suspected” were the root causes of the problem. However, despite ongoing efforts, the state’s infant mortality rate is higher than the national average (7.7 deaths per 1,000 births)—and has been for several decades. Infant mortality is a very complex problem, with many different contributing factors, most of them constantly evolving. In order to effectively analyze each area and identify root causes of infant mortality, the State of Indiana needed the ability to more easily access data and at a much more granular level.
We partnered with KSM Consulting and SAP to identify 15 different critical data sets, including unstructured data, resulting in a diverse volume of nine billion rows. SAP HANA was deployed to store and process the data, and SAP Predictive Analysis and SAP Lumira were added to provide powerful visualization and analytics capabilities. A report was issued in January 2015 that identified that while high-risk groups account for only 1.6 percent of all births in Indiana, they account for nearly 50 percent of infant deaths. With this new insight, we developed legislation and funding for a targeted program—in less than eight months from the start of the project. Once the state’s budget passes, we will look at building an application to identify women at risk and connect them
with the resources they need.
We could have never have done this without SAP HANA, but what is really exciting is that it has opened the door to all these new studies. Agencies are coming to us with other issues like recidivism, domestic violence, and job creation and they want to be part of the MPH environment. We are hoping this will become our enterprise-wide platform for future big data projects that will allow us to be more innovative about solving complex problems and help us make wiser choices about how we spend and invest our money.