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

  • Social network, census

    5 predictions for federal IT in 2017

    As the Trump team takes control, here's what the tech community can expect.

  • Rep. Gerald Connolly

    Connolly warns on workforce changes

    The ranking member of the House Oversight Committee's Government Operations panel warns that Congress will look to legislate changes to the federal workforce.

  • President Donald J. Trump delivers his inaugural address

    How will Trump lead on tech?

    The businessman turned reality star turned U.S. president clearly has mastered Twitter, but what will his administration mean for broader technology issues?

  • Login.gov moving ahead

    The bid to establish a single login for accessing government services is moving again on the last full day of the Obama presidency.

  • Shutterstock image (by Jirsak): customer care, relationship management, and leadership concept.

    Obama wraps up security clearance reforms

    In a last-minute executive order, President Obama institutes structural reforms to the security clearance process designed to create a more unified system across government agencies.

  • Shutterstock image: breached lock.

    What cyber can learn from counterterrorism

    The U.S. has to look at its experience in developing post-9/11 counterterrorism policies to inform efforts to formalize cybersecurity policies, says a senior official.

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