HUD setting up data warehouse

In an effort to better manage low-income housing nationwide, the Department

of Housing and Urban Development has hired data mining company MicroStrategy

Inc. to develop a data warehouse and provide software to analyze it.

MicroStrategy is being paid $5.8 million to provide HUD with a system that

will help the agency better track its spending and better plan its programs,

said Richard Burk, HUD's associate deputy assistant secretary for administration.

HUD provides about 5 million subsidized housing units for 11 million people

across the United States and arranges 5,000 mortgages each day.

The data warehouse is intended to integrate HUD's geographic data with agencywide

data. It should enable HUD to tell more precisely where its money is being

spent and what the spending yields. "We want to be consistent, accurate,

timely and make decisions based on fact," Burk said.

The agency also wants "to reconnect with the public" by providing more information

about what it does, he said.

"We will be able to answer questions like, "How much money did we spent

in a particular congressional district,' or "How many female heads of households,"

Burk said. "Those are the kinds of questions we get."

The data system also will improve the agency's ability to predict outcome

if particular changes were to be made to housing programs. Some analysis

is expected to be done by combining HUD databases with census data, Burk

said. The data warehouse and analytical tools are expected to be in place

by Sept. 1.

Eventually, MicroStrategy is expected to develop for HUD "the government's

first Web and wireless portal — myHUD," which would make HUD data available

through the World Wide Web and via broadcasts to wireless devices, MicroStrategy

officials announced.

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