Indiana CIO Dewand Neely Leverages Data to Empower Digital Citizens

February 11, 2016 2:02 pm PDT | Open Data

Dewand NeelyDewand Neely, who was recently appointed CIO for the State of Indiana, is improving the quality of life for citizens through the innovative use of data. Formerly with the Indiana Technology Office, Neely brings with him a wealth of experience and knowledge about what it takes to make Indiana a data-driven state.

The first major push came in 2014, Neely said during a webinar with StateScoop. Indiana Governor Mike Pence issued Executive Order 2014-06, to create the Government’s Management & Performance Hub, which runs on the Socrata platform. The order required that the Office of Personnel Management leverage tools to continuously improve processes in the state of Indiana, and that every agency provide both the information and systems access to enable data-driven decision making. This decision not only resulted in greater transparency for residents, but also, it allowed agencies to set better key performance indicators. More importantly, from Neely’s perspective, leveraging open data allowed agencies to work more collaboratively and efficiently.

The first step of this process was to create a more streamlined experience on www.In.gov, and turn the site into a portal where citizens could easily navigate and gain access to the services and information they needed. Neely explained that citizens don’t care which agency provides a service, they simply want quick access to the information that is most important to them. To do this, Indiana needed to reorganize the portal based on citizen needs, procure a common tool set, identify data that could be shared across agencies, and leverage a single content management system for a common look, feel, and user experience.

With the platform in place, Neely said that the next step was to establish government and user councils. These groups were put in place to facilitate sharing of best practices to allow Indiana to continue to focus on transforming the relationship with digital-savvy citizens. Immediately, agencies noticed the cost savings, which enabled and inspired them to explore other technology solutions for greater efficiencies.

One example, is the Business One Stop initiative. The program is designed to streamline the customer experience and reduce complexities for businesses to interact with the State of Indiana. Neely noted that the current system is cumbersome and puts the onus on the citizen to navigate through “at least three different agencies, with three different sets of procedures and policies.” In comparison, he noted that Business One Stop Initiative “creates one place where vendors and government agencies can collaborate and work together on projects using one standard process.” It will also streamline the process for business owners, reduce the workload agencies, and share high quality data more effectively.

This is just the first step for the Business One Stop initiative. As it grows and demonstrates results, Neely says the program will evolve to incorporate other agencies. Under Neely’s guidance, the State of Indiana is continuing to innovate, and creating a more efficient and effective government for its people by leveraging open data.

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