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Groundhog Day Special: How to Harness Data for Informed Predictions

We have better tools for forecasting than marmot meteorologists.

Graphic with text reading: Groundhog Day Special, How to Harness Data for Informed Predictions


Data is a guiding light for any public-sector entity. But without a strategy for putting your reams of information to work, you may as well ask a groundhog to predict your organization’s future.

"Data without governance is useless," emphasizes Kyle Keyser, head of Direct Technology's Public Safety Data Solutions team. But government agencies that focus on how their data can solve problems today will create a sunnier future.

While it’s a key part of any effective digital transformation nowadays, CalOES has been using a Direct Technology-built solution to collect, curate, and leverage data to inform future public safety operations for 25 years now. This 9-1-1 call center data management software (now active in 40% of Public Safety Access Points ) tracks and reports real-time analytics on emergency calls around the state to forecast major emergency events, allocate resources appropriately, reduce call wait times, and ultimately save lives.

According to Keyser, public safety is "only a single use case our technology can be used for. This same solution can be applied to any scenario, from COVID-19 tracking to transportation challenges. Our data team drives real results for any challenge."

Data experts on the Direct Technology team have also empowered Carnival Cruise ship captains to keep track of passengers on a real-time dashboard during an emergency, and enabled the Walt Disney Company to analyze, forecast, and govern data tracked through their Magic Pass.

California leaders have deployed a variety of data solutions over the past few years with the goal of using historical information to inform future decisions. CalPERS, for example, invested in a Business Intelligence and Data Analytics Program that significantly increased the agency's performance, allowing employees to better forecast trends, visualize key performance indicators and metrics in a single view, and focus on innovation and problem-solving rather than data collection.

Elsewhere, to encourage environmentally-friendly pedestrian traffic, the city of San Diego tracked urban paths taken by e-scooter users to educate themselves on what areas needed expanded foot traffic lanes or safety precautions like streetlights and guardrails. And in a recent interview, California Emergency Medical Services Authority CIO Keson Khieu expressed the value of big data and data analytics as a proven business differentiator for emergency medical services. He envisions a future where big data saves countless lives during disasters – something we saw firsthand during the 2015 San Bernardino terror attack, when Direct Technology’s public safety data visualization recognized a cluster of 9-1-1 calls from a specific building on multiple cell carriers. This helped emergency services understand the nature of the response needed rapidly, in real-time.

From transportation to energy efficiency, urban planning to public health, the power of data governance is in how it empowers your team. Automating data collection processes to seamlessly parse huge quantities of information frees up person-hours, makes space for innovation and strategy, and allows government agencies to focus on serving not only the present needs, but the future needs, of their constituents.

Where else in your org can data help you peer into the future? Whatever business challenge you face, whatever business outcome you want to drive, data management can help you make forecasting your results as reliable as predicting the arrival of spring.

Don’t get stuck in a Groundhog Day loop of collecting, checking, re-processing, and re-checking the data your org brings in. Build your next data solution with the firm that's trusted by public safety officials across the nation. Check out our Public Safety Data Solutions page to learn more.

Direct Technology is command central for a host of software solutions and services operating under specific business units including ESG, Government Solutions, and IT Services.