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As technology pervades more and more of daily life, people are generating data that government agencies can use to better serve public interests.

Government organizations are leveraging Predictive analytics to not only see the path they’ve traveled to get there, but also what lies ahead.  Departments and agencies can  make informed decisions to support any number of initiatives by finding correlations and patterns in massive volumes of data available to them. 

Consider the 2012 campaign to re-elect President Obama. A recent article in Knowledge at Wharton details how the campaign team turned to predictive analytics to comb through a range of databases to help it run as effectively as possible – from finding and converting undecided voters to honing messaging and selling merchandise. It clearly worked.

These same tactics can be applied to any government initiative – and then some.  Predictive analytics has advanced tremendously since 2012. You can glean insight today that was impossible to achieve before. The same article summarizes ways government agencies are using predictive analytics to:

  • Combine massive amounts of historical data with real-time data for timely insights
  • Scan billions of entries on social networking sites
  • Make correlations among data sets to identify potential criminal
  • Use crowd-sourced feedback from citizens to prioritize initiatives
  • Apply language analysis to identify potential threats

The ways you can apply predictive analytics is only limited by your imagination – which creates a new problem. If you’re new to the
world of Big Data and predictive analytics, where should you begin?

I suggest you start by reading the article I referenced above. You’ll gain a concise overview of many ways government agencies have put predictive analytics into practice. But you’ll also see recommendations for a few basic steps to consider as you think about adopting
and deploying predictive analytics.

Feel free to  share your views with me about government use of predictive analytics via Twitter @dantericci1 or reply to this blog.

[I] Link Improving Government Performance, Anticipating Citizens’ Needs, Knowledge@Wharton, August 2014