Achieving Cost-Effective, Mission-Based Cybersecurity: Using Risk Management and Analytics to Manage Vulnerabilities and Threats

Engaging leaders in protecting an organizations’ cyber, IT, and information assets is a critical starting point to effective security. A next logical step for any government or commercial organization is to leverage risk management and analytics to implement a mission-based security program. As organizations move forward, guidance from NIST and evolving capabilities in industry are merging to paint a path forward for agencies to follow.

Four Actions to Better Integrate Performance into Budgeting

A Government Accountability Office survey last year reports that the percentage of federal managers saying they used performance information in allocating resources actually dropped between 1997 and 2013.  Is it worth another try? In a new report for the IBM Center, Dr.

The "-Stat" Movement Turns Twenty

Since 2001, Dr. Behn has visited dozens of governmental organizations that are using the PerformanceStat model – some well, and some poorly.  His bold objective was to answer the research question of whether PerformanceStat really makes a difference in improving performance, and how it works.  In short, his answer is:  it depends, and it’s complicated.

Making Data Real – Lessons From and For Federal Leaders

In a panel discussion (watch the video) led by the Partnership’s Judy England-Joseph, three government leaders detailed the lessons learned from their experience that can help other agencies in the sound use of analytics to make decisions. Specifically: Social Security Administration (SSA) - Gerald Ray runs the Disability Appeals process. He observed that the disability review process required significant knowledge of regulatory compliance as well as the specifics of each individual case.

Making Data Real – Weekly Insights

Brian Murrow, an expert on strategy and analytics at IBM, participated in interviews conducted by the Partnership for Public Service as they prepared a series of podcast conversations with pioneers in the use of analytics in the federal government. In a series of guest blog posts over the next few weeks, Brian will share his key takeaways from these interviews. You can also listen to the full interviews yourself if you find yourself wanting to know more.

Why Isn't Performance Information Being Used?

The initial premise twenty years ago was that if performance information was made readily available, it would be used by agency decision-makers.  That turned out to not be true.  

Background.  A recent GAO study conclude that the “use of performance information has not changed significantly” in surveys of federal managers between 2007 and 2013.  More specifically:

Malcolm Bertoni, FDA: Conversations on Using Analytics to Improve Mission Outcomes

In the late 1980’s and early 1990’s, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) faced a mountain of criticism. It was thought that the public health safety precautions built into its drug evaluation procedures in reaction to the Thalidomide tragedy two decades earlier were responsible for delaying consumers’ access to vital new drug therapies. Particularly in light of the growing activism around fighting AIDS, critics argued that the FDA procedures were born out of disaster and therefore extremely overcautious.

Carter Hewgley, FEMA: Conversations on Using Analytics to Improve Mission Outcomes

When Carter Hewgley joined FEMA in 2011, the organization was focused on two things, the timely delivery of services and the processes required to collect and organize all the resources to support those services. FEMA was a “disaster-driven” organization, more focused on responding to the next emergency, rather than reviewing the lessons learned from a previous emergency. Although there were “analytical cells” across the agency and programs, enterprise-level analytical capability was still at its infancy.

Dean Silverman, IRS: Conversations on Using Analytics to Improve Mission Outcomes

Mr. Silverman joined the IRS in 2011 to build an advanced analytics program.  The primary objectives for his analytics program are to reduce fraud and improper payments. His focus has been reducing Identity Theft and fraud in the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) program; reducing the tax gap (the difference between what is due from taxpayers and what is actually collected); and to identify improvements to core compliance challenges.

Mr. Silverman offers the following lessons when using analytics:

Gerald Ray, Social Security Administration: Conversations on Using Analytics to Improve Mission Outcomes

How do you measure and improve the performance of a group of people who see themselves as experts at what they do? This is the challenge that faced Gerald Ray, who set out to improve the performance of the Social Security Administration’s 1,500 administrative law judges in order to speed their decision-making process and improve the accuracy of their decisions. He set out to do this using analytic tools and targeted training sessions. An Interest in Analytics and Law. Mr. Ray’s interest in applying analytics to the law started when he attended law school.