Ontrack for payback

The federal government is singularly adept at creating information about a seemingly endless variety of topics. It routinely gathers certain data, such as economic or health statistics, to help develop policy. It also carefully preserves an assortment of records for historical reasons. In those cases, the purpose for collecting and keeping the information is predetermined and seldom strays from its narrow mission.

But like all large, complex organizations, the government also generates tremendous amounts of information as a byproduct of its daily operations. E-mails, inventory lists, visitor counts, equipment maintenance reports, spending records — the list goes on and on. Some information is captured, if only temporarily, while much of it is not.

Now there is a growing awareness that some of this information can be used — if identified, harnessed and placed in the proper context — to help the government operate more effectively. In fact, that is the aim of a group of analytical and information-sharing technologies known as business intelligence and knowledge management systems.

The government is no stranger to these products, having invested millions of dollars in them during the past few years alone. How to get more out of those investments is the focus of this special report.

We will explore several ways to do this in the two stories that follow and in a final story next week. The first story looks at the growing practice of applying the powerful data integration and analysis capabilities of business intelligence software to help meet the performance goals of the President's Management Agenda.

In the second story, we present practical advice based on real agency experience for getting workers to use the knowledge management systems that are cropping up across government.

In next week's issue, we will look at an emerging set of solutions for cost-effectively storing so-called fixed content, such as e-mail messages and reports.

The Fed 100

Save the date for 28th annual Federal 100 Awards Gala.

Featured

  • computer network

    How Einstein changes the way government does business

    The Department of Commerce is revising its confidentiality agreement for statistical data survey respondents to reflect the fact that the Department of Homeland Security could see some of that data if it is captured by the Einstein system.

  • Defense Secretary Jim Mattis. Army photo by Monica King. Jan. 26, 2017.

    Mattis mulls consolidation in IT, cyber

    In a Feb. 17 memo, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis told senior leadership to establish teams to look for duplication across the armed services in business operations, including in IT and cybersecurity.

  • Image from Shutterstock.com

    DHS vague on rules for election aid, say states

    State election officials had more questions than answers after a Department of Homeland Security presentation on the designation of election systems as critical U.S. infrastructure.

  • Org Chart Stock Art - Shutterstock

    How the hiring freeze targets millennials

    The government desperately needs younger talent to replace an aging workforce, and experts say that a freeze on hiring doesn't help.

  • Shutterstock image: healthcare digital interface.

    VA moves ahead with homegrown scheduling IT

    The Department of Veterans Affairs will test an internally developed scheduling module at primary care sites nationwide to see if it's ready to service the entire agency.

  • Shutterstock images (honglouwawa & 0beron): Bitcoin image overlay replaced with a dollar sign on a hardware circuit.

    MGT Act poised for a comeback

    After missing in the last Congress, drafters of a bill to encourage cloud adoption are looking for a new plan.

Reader comments

Please post your comments here. Comments are moderated, so they may not appear immediately after submitting. We will not post comments that we consider abusive or off-topic.

Please type the letters/numbers you see above

More from 1105 Public Sector Media Group