Breaking Down Silos Through Single, Secure Data Access Points

September 12, 2018 4:41 am PST | Data as a Service

Here’s one thing I know from my time in government: Getting your hands on data is often a significant challenge. I spent years working in Jackson, Mississippi, first as a strategist, and then later as the Director of Innovation and Performance. During that time, I saw how silos dominate the government landscape, and the problems and inefficiencies that occur as a result.

When one department shares its data, benefits accrue across others, as well as for the city, county, or state as a whole. Yet, cross-departmental data sharing is rare. Typically, no one person has access to all the data you need. This forces governmental workers to become data detectives, hunting down dataset locations instead of focusing on data analysis.


Removing Silos Leads to Operational Efficiency

When the silos break down, the results can be remarkable.

If you can compare and cross-reference data across departments, connections and insights become apparent. This leads to more efficient, effective workflows. For instance, you may find that code violations — blighted properties, dirty parks, unmowed lawns, tracked by the parks department or a development services department — tend to correlate with crime rates, which are tracked by the police department. You can only gain that insight, however, with a view into data from both departments. And often, bottlenecks prevent analysts and government employees from gaining that access. However, if you break down the data silos from the two departments, you turn data into actionable insights. From there, you can develop strategies to implement more meaningful and effective cross-departmental programs.

With a single access point to data — across all of your government’s departments and divisions — you have a starting point to effective analysis. It gives you valuable context. That’s why I’m so excited about Socrata Connected Government Cloud (SCGC), which helps eradicate silos in favor of sharing data on a single access point. Later this month, I’ll be speaking at a webinar on SCGC’s features. I hope you’ll join me to find out more about how SCGC can help your agency improve data sharing. 

Register now for the first webinar of our Connected Government Cloud series at 11 a.m. PST/2 p.m. EST, Thursday, Sept. 27, focused on the quick and easy way out of data silos.

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