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State To Use Big Data To Take On Child Deaths, Crime

Jim Sher

Indiana state government is showing off a new high-tech command center officials predict will harness the power of Big Data to shape policy.

Budget director Chris Atkins says the quarter-million-dollar project includes software that can assemble a data report in minutes that might otherwise take months. He says that frees up analysts to search for patterns that would otherwise be harder to spot.

Atkins pledges the state will make as much of the newly compiled data publicly available as possible, through the state‘s transparency website.

Governor Pence has already ordered up the first two projects using the new capability: comparing data across state and county lines in search of ways to reduce infant mortality and to keep released prisoners from re-offending. And he predicts the project will help pinpoint duplicate or ineffective government programs.

A Lilly Endowment grant paid for half the cost of the project. The other half comes out of an Indiana Office of Technology fund for tech purchases, and will be repaid over six years through savings from moving ten employees out of a leased office and into the hub‘s new workspace in the statehouse basement.