Experts reveal how state and local governments are innovating with data-driven strategies

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State and local governments have been innovating and modernizing to meet the needs of their constituents. This has been a trend, especially since 2020, with the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic. Constituent demands and workforce challenges have created a compelling event for the public sector to evolve into the digital age.  

Agencies are working together in new ways and using technology as a catalyst. They are finding opportunities to use cross-agency data for insights to improve services and solve problems. Many governments have seen how collaboration speeds initiatives to drive economic growth and are finding opportunities to securely use cross-agency data for insights. Emerging technologies also offer new opportunities for workforce development to enhance the customer experience and foster a sustainable future. 

Microsoft wanted to explore how US agencies are using data as a foundation for preparedness. So we invited three industry thought leaders to discuss trends in public safety, health and human services (HHS), and transportation. 

Developing safer communities through data collaboration between government agencies

Public-safety agencies rely on interagency collaboration to tackle the challenges of growing data volumes, evolving policy standards and utilizing technology to enhance communities. 

Maria Cardiellos is the Executive Director of the Integrated Justice Information Systems (IJIS) Institute. This nonprofit brings together professionals from private and public sectors to collaborate on solutions that address community challenges. Cardiellos sees how enabling data collaboration can solve public challenges by bridging communication gaps. This can lead to better community outcomes. 

Some of the IJIS Institute’s recent initiatives include replacing incarceration with rehabilitation. This progress inspires Cardiellos. Collaboration among law enforcement, courts, and practitioners has advanced these efforts. By sharing records, they can make better policy decisions. 

“Policy comes into play when sharing data across departments,” says Cardiellos. “The more domains that we bring together to exchange data, the more complex those policy changes can be.” 

To address these challenges, governments are creating communities of subject-matter experts from different departments. The result is easier collaboration and more cohesive policy changes. 

Tune in to the full interview for more insights from Cardiellos. Learn how data sharing and cross-agency collaboration are impacting public safety. 

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Innovating the delivery of health and human services programs 

Health and Human Services (HHS) agencies are finding success in data collaboration efforts that enhance public access to health and social service programs. 

Jess Maneely is the Assistant Director for Process Innovation at the American Public Human Services Association (APHSA), a non-profit association that seeks to influence modern policies that support the health and well-being of children and families. Maneely emphasizes that meeting the needs of people comes from being proactive, not reactive. 

“This focus uses process innovation efforts to transform the systems and modes of service delivery,” says Maneely. “This is done through customer-centered approaches that minimize barriers, remove redundancies, and reduce administrative burden.” 

However, making space for innovation and data-driven strategies while maintaining policy compliance can be challenging. Prioritizing coordination points between HHS programs helps people connect seamlessly to all qualifying services. This can be done using links like application programming interfaces and integrated systems. 

APHSA initiated coordinated efforts by launching a community meeting to gather administrators from many HHS agencies. They share processing improvements, discuss challenges, and find solutions for participation gaps and application automation across HHS programs. These programs include the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and Women, Infants, and Children (WIC). 

Go into more depth in the video. Discover how HHS programs use process innovation to include a community voice in its data strategy to enhance human service delivery. 

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Adopting modern technology to enhance transportation infrastructure safety and efficiency 

The next evolution of transportation safety is the move to a digitized collaboration of agencies. New technologies help optimize investments already in place. They allow for dynamic management of those assets that lead to safer outcomes for residents.  

Laura Chace, President and CEO of the Intelligent Transportation Society of America, notes the importance of a data-centric transportation initiative. 

“In the last 50 years, our infrastructure was built with concrete and steel. But in the next 50 years, it is going to be built with software and code,” says Chace. 

Investments in digital infrastructure, such as AI software, open many opportunities. For example, data can help shorten emergency response times. It can also analyze traffic patterns while congestion-prediction tools help authorities reroute traffic in real-time. This can help prevent accidents and reduce carbon emissions. 

Follow the conversation with Laura Chase in this video. You’ll gain insight into data’s impact on transportation. You’ll also learn how diversity and inclusion efforts are broadening women’s roles in the industry. 

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Creating a diverse community of data-driven success for the public sector 

These discussions with industry leaders can inspire new ideas. Emerging solutions can elevate public safety, transform service delivery, and impact approaches to critical infrastructure. This can be accomplished by using data for institutional progress. 

In the coming years, collaboration and data sharing between public agencies will lead to even more innovations.  

Improve your data-driven strategy by learning more about the technology used in Microsoft for Government.