Dr. Joe Perez, Systems Analyst/Team Lead at North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, speaks with Bill Sullivan, VP and General Manager at Denodo in a video interview about making data actionable and the steps to find actionable data and deliver value.
The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) is responsible for ensuring the health, safety and well-being of all North Carolinians.
Perez states that health and human services exist to serve people and provide necessary services. He adds that incorporating the human element and the story element while providing these services and seeing the benefits is a greater motivator than facts or figures.
Further, Perez maintains that having specific data points that can demonstrate the progress is critical. He says that organizations must present finite concrete measures that can validate jobs getting done or identify areas that need reallocation of resources to serve the people of the state better.
To derive insights from data to make informed decisions, data must be actionable, says Perez.
He stresses that data is actionable only when it helps people to do three things:
Make a decision
Answer a question
Solve a problem
Perez states that the true success of data-gathering efforts is based on the extent to which these concerns can be dealt with. He notes that it boils down to the intent of serving efficiently and quickly, and not for the sake of numbers.
Moving forward, Perez states that finding an actionable data bill is the key. Data is a double-edged sword and its volume makes it challenging for both the government and businesses to extract actionable insights, he adds.
Quoting futurist and author John Naisbitt, Perez notes how the world is awash with data, and how everyone is drowning in information but still starved for knowledge.
He continues that the first step to finding actionable data is defining the objectives, and what one wants to achieve with data.
Having clear objectives guides the data search and helps prioritize what is relevant. Then, Perez asks to identify various data sources.
Secondly, he discusses securing external data from industry sources, from other governmental agencies, and understanding the organizational data landscape. It helps in determining where to focus the search for that actionable insight.
Thirdly, Perez talks about having clean, organized data. He affirms that data quality is critical for extracting meaningful insight. Furthermore, Perez insists on leveraging data analytics tools and techniques to transform raw data into insights.
There is a wealth of excellent tools out there to choose from, he says, and mentions some including SAP BusinessObjects, Tableau, and Power BI.
In conclusion, Perez encourages asking for help and collaborating with other data analysts, data scientists, and people who have the expertise to navigate complex data sets and extract valuable insights.
CDO Magazine appreciates Dr. Joe Perez for sharing his insights with our global community.