Five data themes heard from our customers at Government Summit

Tableau Public Sector Senior AVP Steve Spano highlights the top data lessons shared from customers at the Tableau Government Summit 2021.

Our annual Tableau Government Summit convened virtually on April 6, 2021 to look back at a trying year for the public sector, and ahead to a more data-driven future for government. Every year, our customers present their real-life deployments, lessons learned, best practices, and outcomes at Government Summit, and the team at Tableau is always blown away by their ingenuity, innovation, commitment to achieving their agency’s mission. 

This year, though, many of the stories our customers and partners shared have special significance for their communities. Across the country, citizens in more than 40 states have access to local COVID-19-related data via a Tableau dashboard. That metric is just one indicator of the important role data is playing in the public sector’s response to the pandemic, and it was a clear theme throughout the summit: citizens expect more when it comes to data, and public sector organizations are seeking new and groundbreaking ways to use data to improve operations and outcomes.

Here are five of the key themes we heard from our customers during the summit. To view the sessions, visit our on-demand session library.

  1. Breaking down data silos: Data is valuable, and it often serves as currency in the public sector. The urgency of the pandemic has pushed agency leaders and executives to prioritize cooperation and data sharing, according to the State of Indiana’s chief data officer, Josh Martin. 
  2. Citizens expect easy access to data: Today’s citizens are more data savvy than ever, and their appetite for high-quality self-service analytics tools is growing rapidly according to Colorado’s Department of Public Health & Environment.
  3. Data derails fraudsters: When the federal government opened the spigot of relief funds for industries and individuals affected by the pandemic, it created a gold rush for fraud and abuse of programs. Data analytics is supporting agencies tasked with preventing, identifying, and stopping fraudulent claims, as demonstrated by the US Health Resources and Services Administration’s Joe Roach. 
  4. Users guide effective design: Interviewing end users and analyzing data on their interactions with dashboards helps creators design them to be more effective and better serve the mission, according to the Government Services Administration. The group created an interactive, multi-agency dashboard based on interviews and data from end users, providing a better experience for hiring managers. 
  5. Culture is key: As many presenters noted, data analytics and visualizations are only as effective as the people who use them. Building a strong internal data culture is central to data transformation, and a platform like Tableau – which gives everyone the ability to use data in their roles, whether or not they are a data scientist – helps to create buy-in for change at every level.

We encourage you to visit our Government Summit resource page and check out the presentations from our users. We are inspired by the ways they are using the platform, and hope that their stories will spark ideas for how your organization can accelerate its own data transformation.