5 Tips for Deploying Insightful Reports in the Federal Government

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Government budgets are strained, meticulously scrutinized, and expected to be transparent. Meanwhile, pressure is accelerating to make fact-based decisions that consider the vast amount of data that is available today. This is where data discovery comes in. Using custom dashboards and fast analytics, governments can draw the insight they need, showcase their findings using public data, and do it all on a budget.

This paper will show you how corporate America is already using this process effectively. Data discovery is one of the greatest tools available to governments today to meet their complex and challenging demands. From efficiency, to transparency, to accuracy, governments stand to benefit from the age of data discovery perhaps more than any other player.

We've also pulled out the first several pages of the whitepaper for you to read. Download the PDF on the right to read the rest.

Your budget is shrinking. Your spending is scrutinized. But the problems you are solving are more complex and urgent than ever before. Is there any relief in sight?

“Get Me Answers – Now”

From Cabinet secretaries and five-star generals to division chiefs and experts in the field, the expectation for insight to make real-time decisions is increasingly the norm, not an exception. This demand goes beyond the four walls of your agency. Joe Citizen, now more than any time in history, also has a pressing desire for information about his Government.

This hunger for actionable insight only increases the pressure to provide useful analytics fast. Can you offer this speed?

Data, Data Everywhere

The good news: there’s more information than ever before to drive decisions.

The bad news: there’s more information than ever before to drive decisions.

The vast amount of data created every day that government agencies take into account is mind
boggling. Effectively analyzing this data requires the ability to connect into myriad sources of data, mix and match the pieces that relate to the question at hand and pull out relevant insight.

Absorbing all this data is daunting, but imperative. Can you consider it all?

Penny Pinching

Every federal agency has been touched by the recession. There is significant pressure to find lean ways to accomplish big goals. But just because your spending is under a magnifying glass doesn’t mean the world slows down or the need to answer critical questions diminishes. In fact, urgency to get to the heart of a problem and come up with insightful answers accelerates as more challenges emerge.

Investing in a new solution would have to be affordable. Can you find a cost-effective approach?

The answer to all of these questions is “Yes.”

Welcome to next-generation business intelligence

Corporate America has faced many similar challenges. To answer them they’ve turned to a new way of thinking about business intelligence and analytics that is changing what is possible for their organizations.

Fast time to insight, ease of use and visual analytics are core tenets of next-generation business intelligence. The ability to query every data source and work with huge volumes of data in a scalable, secure manner are mandatory. Visualizing data and collaborating with dashboards in real time can fundamentally alter how decisions are made.

The value to individuals and organizations is tremendous. Comments like, “I’ve learned more about my business in five minutes than I have in five years,” “I’ve produced in two hours what a team couldn’t create in the last year,” and “we’ve been able to re-deploy three full-time equivalents because of the time we’ve saved with this new approach” are becoming routine from corporate adopters of next-generation business intelligence.

Government agencies can benefit in these ways too. Your corporate counterparts have five tips to help you get the same level of impact from your data by taking a next-generation approach.

1. See it to believe it

Visualizing data is one of the biggest expectations you must have from your reports. Seeing your data makes trends, outliers and insights pop in ways that static reports and out-of-date dashboards can’t address. Whether you visualize your data on a map, a chart or a dashboard combining all of these things, the result is a fundamentally better level of insight about why’s, what’s and how’s. This is even more important in an environment where the amount of data is increasing every day.

One impact of seeing your data in a meaningful way is the ability to ask follow-up questions about what you see, resulting in a cycle of analysis that yields results pre-canned reports never can. Traditionally, the experience of digging deeper is characterized by requests back to an analyst or IT team that drives a lengthy response process, often resulting in yet another wave of inquiries. Next-generation business intelligence and analytics changes all that and leads us to tip number two.

2. Get your hands dirty

Insist on interacting directly with your data. Not only will this give you answers to your probing questions immediately, it will lead to better answers. This ability to interact with information is a core piece of nextgeneration business intelligence. It transforms decision
makers at all levels from relying on “years of experience” and “gut instinct” to making fact-based decisions.

The effects of interacting directly with data are already being felt in many corners of federal agencies. Experts working in the field who used to sift through half-inch thick documents to size-up a situation now engage directly with a dashboard. With a few clicks, what used to be a daunting prospect now becomes a fast, easy set of definitive answers.

3. Share with others

It’s one thing to be able to see and interact with data on your desktop. But the potential impact is tremendous when you can share your analysis – securely, easily and consistently – with authorized stakeholders. Whether a coworker, supervisor or someone in another department or agency, providing access to others to interact with the same dashboard is changing the way teams evaluate options and drive decisions.

Want to read more? Download the rest of the whitepaper!

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