Better Together: Wisconsin’s Evolving Strategy to Meet Public Health Needs During COVID-19

Like many other government organizations, the Wisconsin Department of Health Services has had to rapidly evolve and change practices to keep up with the unprecedented demand on data, and state and local public health resources during COVID-19.

In order to quickly adapt, they developed strategies for increased coordination between departments, data optimization, and prioritization of requests. Leveraging data to make informed decisions and prioritizing data transparency with the public has been integral to Wisconsin’s COVID-19 response.

Watch this on-demand webinar to hear how they built and scaled their data culture as well as their plans to continue to iterate and improve upon their data model to better serve the public. You can download the slide deck here.

This is part of the Leading Through Change in Government webinar series.

About the speakers


Olivia Butler

Data Management Liaison at State of Wisconsin, Department of Health Services (DHS)

Olivia Butler is the Data Management Liaison for the Department of Health Services, and also serves as the Tableau site administrator at DHS. Olivia received her Masters from the La Follette School of Public Affairs prior to starting work for the State of Wisconsin, where she was able to apply her background in policy and econometrics and discover her love of Tableau. Olivia is a leader for the State of Wisconsin Tableau User Group and serves on the leadership team of the first Women in Technology group at DHS. Olivia enjoys supporting her data community and is always looking for new ways to improve data strategies to support modern analytics.


Chris Huard

Data Manager/Project Coordinator, Wisconsin Department of Health Services(DHS)

Chris Huard is our Tableau Project Manager. He holds his Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology from UW-Madison with an emphasis on data collection methodology. Before joining the State Chris oversaw various data-related projects with a focus on longitudinal research and mixed mode techniques. Currently Chris coordinates a data visualization community where he optimizes data display design to best educate and inform audiences. In his spare time, Chris likes to spin vinyl, run outside, and conquer dimensions and parameters with his colleagues.


Kate Rifken

Data and Evaluation Specialist, Wisconsin Department of Health Services(DHS)

Kate Rifken has worked in a variety of different fields from mental health and substance use, brain and body interaction, mindfulness, as well as public health. While she enjoys analytics and visualization, her passion is translating data to consumable forms for decision making and exciting stakeholders around data. Kate received her Master of Science degree at the University of Wisconsin – Madison in Population Health Sciences. Kate currently works for the Department of Health Services, where she helped spearhead the initial rollout of Tableau at the Department. Over the last three years she has helped guide a dedicated group of Tableau users and build an organizational structure for Tableau. She understands that traditional metrics do not always tell the full story and enjoys the challenge of translating and visualizing tough data stories.

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