Measuring the Unobserved

Cracking the challenge of measuring unobserved behaviors – drug smuggling, tax fraud, counterfeiting, and illegal immigration – is key to developing better strategies and targeting resources in the right places to catch and deter illegal actions.

Mission-Focused Analytics

What do we mean by “mission-focused analytics?” That is the focus of a new report co-sponsored by the Partnership for Public Service and the IBM Center for The Business of Government and released earlier today at an event with a panel of federal executives using analytics.

“It’s like peeling back an onion.  You cry a bit, then peel another layer and cry some more.”  That’s how Michelle Snyder, deputy chief operating officer of the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Servic

New Budget Takes Evidence Agenda to Scale

President Obama’s fiscal year 2017 budget proposal, released in early February, builds on bipartisan momentum at all levels of government to increase the use of data and evidence in making decisions so “government can do more of what works and less of what does not.”  The budget “proposes to take additional evidence-based approaches to scale,” strengthen the base of available evidence available to future policymakers, and increase the analytical capacity of agencies to use evidence and data.

Helping Government Address Major Challenges and Opportunities

Enabling the public sector to deliver on mission priorities remains a major research theme of the IBM Center for The Business of Government.   Making this vital connection between outcomes that agencies strive for on behalf of the citizens they serve, and the good management needed to achieve those outcomes, is a critical link for effective government. 

Does Performance Matter?

However, several articles in a recent issue of Public Administration Review have caught my attention and challenge some of my assumptions. 

Performance measurement is about measuring the performance of government and its programs – but what about measuring the effectiveness of performance measures themselves?  Ironically, it turns out that it is harder than you might think.

Big Data, Big Cities, Big Deal

Professor Alfred Ho, at the University of Kansas, recently surveyed 65 mid-size and large cities to learn what is going on, on the frontline, with the use of Big Data in making decisions.  He found that Big Data has made it possible to “change the time span of a decision-making cycle by allowing real-time analysis of data to instantly inform decision-making.”  This decision-making occurs in areas as diverse as program management, strategic planning, budgeting, performance repo

Beyond the operating room: Applying military healthcare data insights to the civilian sector

Major Jim Markham is an operations research / systems analyst in the Army.  He is currently serving as a Research Fellow in the Training with Industry program, during which he works with IBM for one year before returning to the Army, including time with the Center for The Business of Government. His fellowship is intended to help him learn how industry applies big data and analytics to healthcare challenges in order to take this knowledge back to the Army.