Empowering Government Agency Leaders with Self-Service Data Visualization


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What do Pixar, the creators of the animated films "Toy Story" and "Up!," and the Department of Defense have in common?

One thing: both organizations know how to harness the power of visualization. But many government agencies still struggle to make effective data-driven decisions.

This report explores how government agencies are using self-service visualization technologies to answer critical data questions and ultimately improve performance management and transparency.

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.


When the DoD needed to empower ordinary people — not just the data scientists, IT professionals or statisticians — with a means to analyze information, Hanrahan teamed up with a database programmer, Chris Stolte, at Stanford University to find a solution.

With the support of a DoD agency grant, the pair, alongside Christian Chabot, combined their distinct computer science disciplines of graphics and databases to create Tableau Software, a platform now widely used to help government organizations at the local, state and federal levels unlock actionable insights and trillions of tax dollars from their data.

The need for data insights within government organizations is massive. Cybersecurity experts use complex network data to better safeguard IT infrastructures, agency administrators use real-time building-sensor data to increase the efficacy of the government’s physical infrastructure, and frontline managers make operational improvements with process and program performance data.

But even with so much data and emerging technologies, many agencies still struggle to make effective data-driven decisions.

This industry perspective explores how current public sector organizations use Tableau’s self-service visualization technologies to answer critical data questions and ultimately improve performance management and transparency.

CHALLENGES TO ACCESS AND UNDERSTANDING

Having raw data alone doesn’t necessarily make it useful. There are two ways to learn from data: access and understanding. But for government agencies, both are especially difficult to attain. In a recent interview with GovLoop, Christine Carmichael, Marketing Director of Government and Education at Tableau, explained why self-service data visualization is so important for government.

“Government is an industry that has some of the largest data re-positories that exist, and also some of the messiest data in terms of how it is structured,” Carmichael said. “And a lot of that data is also siloed. It is literally sitting all over the government, in different back-end repositories and different platforms.”

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