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Four Rules for Success in Government Effective government agencies use performance measurement tools to make fact-based decisions. As the IT chief of New York City, Cosgrave is in charge of an online performance measurement tool that allows the Big Apple's citizens to see just what they're getting for their city tax dollars.
Extending the reach of Mayor Michael Bloomberg's annual management report to the public, the CPR makes performance indicators available online. The indicators are represented graphically with pie charts, which make performance trends easy to identify and comparable for up to a five-year period.
The system Cosgrave runs also gives city officials advanced analytical tools to run the city more effectively. The CPR integrates performance-related statistics from 60 city organizations, helping Bloomberg's managers make smarter decisions by giving them fast access to information about the public's demands and agency performance.
Dubbed "the mother of all accountability tools," the system is proving very effective. Using CPR, New York's environmental services managers can anticipate emerging issues and respond more quickly to problems, such as noise complaints.
Already there are plans to adapt the CPR dashboard tools to track performance on other agency programs. City managers intend to integrate data-visualization tools to display service request information on a map and expand the analytics data offered to the public.
Innovative CIOs, like Cosgrave, are turning to analytics - defined as the extensive use of data, statistical and quantitative analysis, predictive models and fact-based management to drive decisions and actions - to improve the delivery and performance of public services.
Sophisticated analytics are rapidly finding applications in areas such as tax revenue collection, postal services, fraud detection, public safety, and health and human services.
Local and regional municipalities, as well as the federal and government, are increasingly adopting analytics. Recasting the CIO's Role In effect, analytics can recast the role of many public-sector CIOs, shifting their focus from maintaining and upgrading IT systems to driving wholesale change for the constituencies they serve.
By linking analytical tools to the organization's mission and values, CIOs can transform their agencies' effectiveness. For many public information offices, like the U.
Bureau of Labor Statistics, and for intelligence agencies, such as Britain's MI5, data gathering and analysis is a core function.
But analytics is now sweeping through more public-sector activities. Accenture's ongoing research suggests many leading government agencies can be classed as high performers - on par with high-performance businesses operating in the commercial sector.
What's propelling such change? First, government agencies can access substantially more data, not only from publicly available sources, such as the Internet, but also from their own systems and those of other organizations. Many agencies are now more capable of capturing clean, integrated and timely transaction data.
The data comes from more sources through a wider range of channels - from traffic cameras and under-highway sensors to e-mails and mobile communications handsets.
And it's proliferating at staggering rates: According to a white paper by IDC and EMC, the volume of data added worldwide will increase more than sixfold between and Organizations also have software and hardware can better capture, store, distribute and interpret data.
There is more processing power on desktops and in data centers. And real-time business intelligence BI software, in which automated decision-making systems are embedded in business processes, is rapidly gaining ground. There's also more demand for sharper insights and better ways of gathering and interpreting data to inform decision-making.
A generation of technology-literate and data-savvy managers is one reason for that demand, which also stems from external factors, like the war on terrorism. There can be no more compelling argument for making decisions based on facts than in a study by the CIA's Center for the Study of Intelligence about the U.
The study highlighted serious deficiencies in the intelligence community's analytical processes. The foreword's author concluded: The intelligence community does more reporting than in-depth analysis. An Accenture research report found government and other public-sector organizations, much like their commercial counterparts, are looking for bigger benefits from their enterprise systems.
That research also uncovered a powerful link between organizations with pronounced analytical orientations and superior performance.
High performers - those that substantially outperform competitors over the long term and across economic, industry and leadership cycles - are more likely to value fact-based decision-making and to have the skills and capabilities to effectively use analytics.
They are twice as likely to use analytics strategically compared with the overall sample and five times more likely to do so than low performers. Executives are increasingly aware of IT's power to aid decision-making.
In a Accenture study, 28 percent of senior government managers polled said they use their enterprise systems for "significant or extensive decision support or analytical capability. As top performers develop analytical capabilities, they're migrating toward more powerful techniques, such as predictive modeling, forecasting and optimization.
Analytics at Work Although many organizations use analytics in only limited ways, some can be described as true analytical leaders - organizations that make systematic use of analytics to achieve lasting advantage.
They achieve large-scale results by: Focusing their analytics resources on making the most of their distinctive capabilities -defined as the sum of the integrated business processes and capabilities that allow them to serve their customers in differentiated ways and create new formulas for business success; Having senior leadership teams that are committed to analytical competition and to building their organizations' analytical capabilities; Strategically managing and applying analytics enterprisewide.Training courses, programs and events Training courses, programs and events.
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