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Looking for Data Unicorns in the Public Sector?

People   |   Andy MacIsaac   |   Oct 8, 2020

Earlier this month, I had an opportunity to participate in a webinar produced by GovLoop. The topic of the webinar was “Data + Analytics = Digital Transformation”, and I was part of the panel discussion, along with Scott Beliveau, an advanced analytics leader for the U.S. Patent Office. Scott shared his perspective on what it takes to build a data culture within a public sector agency to help drive digital transformation, and that’s leveraging your key resource — people.

As Scott explained, a focus on people doesn’t mean you have to go out and search for the “mythical data unicorn.”

Data Unicorn: A mathematician, data scientist, and storyteller — someone who is mathematically strong, technically learned, and narratively inclined to draw data insights for the business or mission value.”

There are very few individuals like this who can address all the data and analytic challenges faced by public sector agencies.

Grow Your Own

What public sector agencies can do is look to develop their existing workforce by empowering your teams with an analytic platform that democratizes access to data, automates processes, and enables them to upscale their skills. This upskilling enables data workers to better leverage their creativity and embrace their passion for solving problems with insight.

With the Alteryx Analytic Process Automation™ (APA) Platform, human ingenuity is front and center. When humans and machines work together as a means of amplifying intelligence, you can solve remarkable problems. However, this requires a new kind of upskilling — a shift from training workers to use technology to a focus on data literacy and the use of domain expertise.


Will all my Data Workers become “Data Unicorns”?

Maybe not, but your organization will benefit from increased data literacy which enhances the ability to create insights that will improve service delivery, optimize mission success, and accelerates outcomes for stakeholders, people, and communities.

Building a Culture of Analytics

A significant part of building a strong analytics culture is understanding where your organization is starting from. During this webinar, we asked three survey questions that paint a picture of some of the most significant challenges public sector organizations are facing as they look to build a culture of analytics. There were 112 attendees who answered the questions and their responses are below.

A lot of these discussions come back to being able to address these challenges from an analytics culture perspective, and a big part of the culture is directly related to enabling people with the data skills and tools they need.

The Alteryx Platform is engineered to help address data challenges and enable public sector agencies to build a culture of analytics that creates digitally-enabled workplaces and more importantly, digitally confident employees who have a passion for solving with actionable insight.

Do these challenges resonate in your organization? What advanced analytic skills is your organization looking to better capitalize on? How ready is your data for AI and Machine Learning? And most importantly is your organization creating a strong analytics culture and sowing the seeds to grow your own “Data Unicorns”?



Government Data Innovators are rising everywhere to propel change, and you can, too.