It’s a generally accepted truth that government agencies need to fully understand their constituents in order to better serve citizens and better support the government mission. By having a full 360-degree view of citizens, government agencies can better understand behavior and then determine what is “good,” anomalous, or even fraudulent. By having a more complete picture of citizen behavior, which we refer to as “Citizen 360,” the government can create more optimal experiences which increases satisfaction of government services and improves outcomes such as closing the tax gap or improving quality of care.
Improving Population Health Through Citizen 360
As an example of the power of Citizen 360, the State of Michigan implemented an integrated system including data across programs to provide a comprehensive view of individuals and populations—with the goal of focusing on the whole person rather than silos of individual programs. In a news release by Optum, Optum describes how Michigan uses a 360-degree view of the citizen to improve the health and safety of Michigan’s nearly 13,000 children in foster care. Michigan’s goal is to focus on “people not programs” and provide coordinated care to children in foster care by addressing their behavioral, developmental and physical health needs in a comprehensive, cost-effective way. While foster care professionals previously could access medical records of the children they served, they now have more immediate access to physical and behavioral health care information. Case workers have insight into:
- Whether and how children are being treated for chronic medical conditions;
- Number of and reasons for emergency department visits;
- Number and types of filled medications that health professionals have prescribed for both physical and behavioral issues;
- Whether children have received dental treatment;
- Whether children have made well-child visits and are under the care of a physician.
Michigan’s foster care professionals now have a window into the care and treatment of these children, which will enable them to make better and faster decisions and improve overall health outcomes for this vulnerable population.
If Citizen 360 is so desirable by governments, then why don’t all government agencies have rich, highly leveraged repositories of citizen data?
Typically, data for government agencies is siloed by agencies, programs, or front-line business applications, so governments must connect and reorient the data around the constituent. This means collecting a wide variety of constituent data which includes interactions and program data. Often government agencies must enter into data sharing agreements in order to combine data necessary to facilitate the 360-degree view of the citizen. Frankly speaking, programs don’t want to give up their data to the IT department. Navigating data sharing agreements requires leadership to effectively sell the value of Citizen 360 across the organization. Selling the value also means guaranteeing to the business that controls are put in place to protect citizen data. Governments must have mature data governance in place to insure the right people see the right data.
Once the citizen program and interaction data are collected, IT must connect individuals across the interactions and programs. For example, is the person who visited the website the same person who chatted with an agent two weeks later and who is getting services under a specific education program? A robust set of analytic capabilities are required to make these matches. Matching data sounds easy, but it only takes a few mismatches to lose trust in the data.
Once the data is fit for use, IT must not only provide secure and easy access to the data, but also provide tools and frameworks that enable knowledge workers to understand citizen behavior, to predict future behavior, and to prescribe actions to improve constituent satisfaction and program outcomes. Not only must IT provide the tools, but it must also work with the business to provide support for the tools and context for the data which is critical to making sure the data is used to its fullest potential.
What is required to create a Citizen 360 solution?
First you need a data strategy that includes a vision and plan. For specifics, please refer to Kevin Lewis’s blog post: Six Crucial Refinements to Conventional Wisdom About Data Strategy. Kevin outlines the following 6 keys to successfully drive outcomes from a citizen 360 solution:
- You need to support someone else’s funded business initiatives with your data and analytics.
- You need an executive sponsor for data and analytics and at least one sponsor of a funded business initiative that is counting on the data and analytics you will deliver.
- You need to institutionalize the program by embedding data and analytics planning, implementation, and operation into the machinery of the organization.
- You need to deploy data just-in-time and just-enough to meet the needs of in-scope applications.
- You need to architect and design shared data resources using principles of scalability and extensibility.
- You need to carefully differentiate between experimentation and production and treat each accordingly.
From a technology perspective, you need an analytics platform that strikes a balance between:
- A Highly Performant platform that is Scalable that includes sophisticated Workload Balance capabilities
- Mature and granular Security Controls
- Agile and robust Data Integration and Matching solutions
- Ability to use Analytic Tools & Frameworks of choice
- Solutions and techniques for Operationalizing Analytics
When the government thoughtfully creates Citizen 360 solutions with technology such as Teradata Vantage and gives knowledge workers secure, unimpeded access to these solutions, governments can make lasting and positive impacts for their constituents.