From Data to Decisions: The Power of Analytics
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From Data to Decisions: The Power of Analytics

November 30, 2011

The Partnership for Public Service, in collaboration with IBM’s Public Sector Business Analytics & Optimization practice, set out to study federal agencies’ use of analytics and how it helped them achieve better program results. We focused on identifying leading practices that illustrate how data informs decisions and drives meaningful and positive program changes. In particular, we were interested to know how employing good data led to changes in how agencies think about their programs and how it led to programmatic insights that influenced their decisions.

In addition, we learned that data is only the starting point. The data needed to be analyzed, turned into information and made accessible to staff and executives, and the data also needed to meet varying needs and be understandable to different audiences. The value of the data came from the stories it told. Agencies also had to develop meaningful performance measures to assess progress on how far they were in achieving their program goals. We found that those measures changed over time and it was important that they stay meaningful and reliable and are tied to results.

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