As the importance of data to efficiency in the public sector becomes increasingly clear, one of the models for integrating new uses of it into government operations stands out. This model relies on two seemingly opposing factors: strong central leadership in setting policy and implementation accompanied by a broadly distributed ability to use the data throughout the organization.
The city of Chicago has been a pioneer of this strategy. Its Department of Innovation and Technology (DoIT), led by CIO Brenna Berman and with strong mayoral support, is ensuring that data use spreads throughout the city. DoIT is developing an advanced analytics platform while at the same time engaging users across departments to identify problems they can solve with better data. A recent pilot project, for example, enabled the Department of Streets and Sanitation to target rodent-baiting to areas where data predicted infestations.