Using Data to Drive Missions and Meet Mandates
In a November 2011 Government Business Council survey sponsored by Deloitte, more than 70 percent of federal government managers surveyed believe budgetary cost constraints are increasing the importance of data collection as it relates to making decisions about their programs; however, 58 percent of respondents report that using the data externally in a “meaningful” way remains challenging. The study is based on focus groups data and a survey that included senior-level federal employees from Senior Executive Service to GS/GM level 11.
Demanding More, Federal Agencies' Data Use to Drive Mission and Meet Mandates, examines current data analysis behaviors and efforts in the federal government, identifies common causes for why data collection and analytics use may fall short of expectations, and assesses potential areas where analytics can enhance agency information and decision-making. Report findings include:
- Complicated processes as well as insufficient technical and staff resources are contributing to limited and inconsistent data collection in federal agencies.
- Many agency leaders are unable to plan for the increasingly diverse in-depth reporting requirements. Nearly half of the survey participants struggle to make data both accessible and actionable.
- Given the challenges of collection, many managers are unlikely to use data to determine cost savings or to take a closer look at their programs or functions. More than half (56 percent) of respondents say their agencies or programs may consider downsizing the federal workforce in order to achieve cost savings, while only 23 percent will analyze data to review the outcomes of programs, reduce improper payments, or consolidate their business systems.