New SAS book guides governments on using data and analytics for good

This information provided by Smart Cities Council Compassionate Cities.

Analytics leader SAS is used extensively by local, state and federal governments agencies to tackle some of society's toughest challenges – opioid addiction, child abuse and neglect and human trafficking among them. Now it's pulled advice and insights together in an informative new book to help governments better understand the potential of data and analytics.  As Eric Reese, Senior Implementation Advisor for the Center for Government Excellence at Johns Hopkins University sees it: “Practitioners from a variety of backgrounds and sectors will benefit from the compelling stories and practical guidance to get government analytics projects off the ground.” And if you need inspiration, don't miss the real-world case studies featured in A Practical Guide to Analytics for Governments: Using Big Data for Good. – Liz Enbysk


Offering a blueprint for government analytics initiatives, the SAS book highlights typical problems governments and society face and the potential of analytics to solve them.

"Nowhere can more good be done, for more people, than in government," said Paula Henderson, who leads the SAS U.S. Government Practice. "We all hear about analytics and ‘big data,’ but not everyone truly understands it. This book makes the application of data and analytics tangible, and builds excitement about the possibilities."

The book mirrors many of the news stories we see every day, sharing how analytics can, for example:

  • Improve child well-being by, in part, helping overburdened caseworkers prioritize risk to the children they’re charged with protecting.
  • Drive efforts by state and local education agencies to use data to improve student outcomes.
  • Improve health care patient outcomes and help practitioners combat our most dire public health threats such as chronic disease and mental illness.
  • Empower public health and law enforcement agencies to aid people in the throes of opioid addiction, and put away those who profit illegally off the suffering of others.
  • Help local government leaders better serve their citizens and launch innovative smart cities initiatives.
  • Help criminal justice and public safety manage cases, catch perpetrators and keep citizens – and themselves – safe. Also, confront overcrowded prisons, high recidivism rates, congested courts and strained police-community relations.
  • Support more strategic transportation infrastructure and planning to get people from point A to point B as safely and efficiently as possible.

"Our country faces many problems. Literally, lives are at stake," said Henderson. "Analytics can help, but its impact is intensified when used by people with a desire to make a difference. This book is a guide for those dedicated government leaders."

Edited by Marie Lowman, a local government leader and 20-year government analytics veteran, A Practical Guide to Analytics for Governments: Using Big Data for Good, can be ordered from the SAS Publishing bookstore.

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This article is from the Council's Compassionate Cities initiative which highlights how city leaders and other stakeholders can leverage smart technologies to end suffering in their communities and give all citizens a route out of poverty. Click the Compassionate Cities box on our registration page to receive our weekly newsletter.

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