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Data is everywhere, especially in government and education.  It is the foundation for the digital revolution, the next gold rush.  Using data from your organization will enable your customers, both internal and external to make better decisions and make purpose driven change.

How is your organization harnessing new insights from data?  What is their digital strategy?

Many things need to happen to better utilize data, it does not happen overnight, nor does it take years to tap into. The need has never been greater to empower.


It starts with a comprehensive – yet simple – integrated platform that helps unlock the real value in your data for smarter decision making.  A platform for harnessing the data and analytics to visualize the information is a key starting point But don’t boil the ocean.  Start with things that matter, solve the highest priority issues that make a difference to your organization. Issues such as the opiate epidemic, infant mortality, budgeting, recidivism and others are being tackled now.

In order to better use data as a resource to positively change people’s lives, organizations need to embrace a collaborative mindset and share data across department silos. The state of Indiana for instance created the Management and Performance Hub (MPH) to start to use data to look at issues and drive decisions. The MPH uses the SAP® HANA platform together with SAP Predictive Analytics® software to gain a 360-degree view of the problem and approach it in new and innovative ways. By quickly aggregating and analyzing data, the state is able to visualize the opiate problem, and other business use cases, and influence change that could save Hoosier lives.


What is your plan for enabling data?  Here is a simple recipe to drive digital strategy:


1.  Combine data in new ways to gain insight into trends.  This will improve insight into trends, finding root causes and predicting where hot spots around issues can arise


2.  Conduct a study to better understand reasons for pain points.  This will allow you to identify trends which then allows employees and elected officials to visually see the problems that can occur over time and help to find ways to provide targeted help where it’s needed most.


3.  Visualize issues and use prediction analytic software to understand how things will change over time and why.  This will uncover other factors before unseen, such as growing trends – we call these unforeseen opportunities.


4.  Achieve both agility and simplicity at once by enabling any knowledge worker self-service easy to use analytics.  Allow your users to do work together using real time and historical data with little or no support from IT and data scientists to improve lives.


A platform by itself is not enough, however, not sustainable.  Mindsets need to change, people need to share information and data across agencies and departments.  Data governance and security need to be put in place.  Master data management and ETL tools are the foundation.  And finally the platform and tools have to be robust enough to make the process repeatable quickly across more data sets and issues.

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Still not convinced? 

Watch some of the clips from the award winning film, the Human Face of Big Data illustrates both the promise and peril in the growing big data evolution, a sea change which many experts believe will have a thousand times greater impact on our lives than the Internet. The film features conversations with more than thirty leading voices in the field of data science, artificial intelligence, technology and digital medicine.


The definition of data here is much more inclusive than traditional views; data includes structured (transactional) and unstructured (email, voice, video, pictures, etc.). A digital platform has to bring together all these sources of data, and the business processes that leverage it. SAP HANA is the only technology in the world that delivers on that promise at scale, and it is already leveraged by over 10,000 organizations.

Its easy really, look to your elected officials and agency heads to understand their top issues.  Build a digital platform now and start helping them utilize their data to create purpose driven change.


The recipe for tapping into your organizations data and visualizing it for change is still evolving.  I would love to hear your recipe for driving digital strategy.

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  1. Marlyn Zelkowitz

    Thanks for sharing the big data experience in the State of Indiana. The “how to” cookbook is excellent advice for public sector organizations to follow on their big data journeys.

    Would love to hear more stories like this from around the world.  Please share your thoughts on this blog or write youe own blogs on youe customer’s experience with big data and (hopefully) SAP.

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