Data-driven regulation: What value does data offer government leaders?

In a world built on a surplus of data in both the private and public sectors, what do regulators stand to gain by adopting data-driven technologies like predictive analytics and artificial intelligence?

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The increase in public spending on data-driven technology provides new and exciting opportunities for regulators to streamline processes and avoid “supplemental work” to focus on other meaningful work. Making data-informed decisions can save regulators money and help them increase public services. 

The benefits offered by these concepts will continue to change with advances in technology. Investments now reduce the deficit government leaders face if they wait until their systems are dilapidated. Benefits can include the following: 

Better data & cross-pollination

Using cloud-based systems, automated processing software, and other data-based solutions, regulators can ensure the data collected by their agencies will be accurate, well-organized, and easily accessible by staff members. Because these are network systems, they are accessible from anywhere with a connection to the Internet. They can also be integrated with other systems used by other regulators, and the systems can communicate with each other to verify information across the board.  

Better analytics

Data analytics without data-driven technology are too costly and time-consuming to be viable in the new data-driven world. AI’s ability to analyze unstructured data increases every year, which is good news for regulators using legacy systems with less-than-ideal data hygiene. AI can also process language and visual information more accurately as time passes. With predictive analytics, data-driven systems can create and tweak models that can offer precious insight into a regulator’s strengths, weaknesses, and incoming challenges. 

Better data security & recovery time

Cloud-based security provides several unique advantages to regulators who choose to migrate their systems. Cloud technology encrypts all data and offers sophisticated tools for the safe sharing of resources between staff, no matter where they may be. In the event of power outages and other disruptions to service, cloud networks can perform quick recoveries using data stored in different locations, which are often heavily surveilled and automated to create backups regularly. 

Fraud detection & error-in-document detection

The advances in AI over the past 10 years have led to the creation of programs that can scan, identify, and process visual information with an almost-human level of accuracy. As a data-driven technology, AI improves with every new bit of material it processes. Regulators who adopt AI-based fraud detection and error-in-document detection can save countless hours of human labor while also investing in systems that will only improve efficacy and efficiency over time. 

Less processing time & better mandate compliance

In the wake of the pandemic, many industries have found themselves facing critical labor shortages. In healthcare, these shortages can mean the difference between life and death for patients. In response, some regulators have attempted to streamline and simplify licensing requirements and processes. In addition to relaxing rules that prevent qualified professionals in good standing from practicing, states can also automate the licensing process using data-driven tech to help combat the scarcity of labor power.  

How can regulators start leveraging data-driven technology today?

Assess your current approach

The first step any regulator should take in making the jump to data-driven technology is self-assessment. By essentially auditing themselves as agencies, regulators can take note of their strengths and weaknesses in all facets of day-to-day work. Depending on the unique challenges different regulators face, they may choose to opt in or out of certain data-driven technologies as they see fit. A key part of this process is retaining expertise — by keeping IT professionals, data scientists, and other experts on call, regulators can ensure their transition toward data-driven technology is smooth and efficient.  

Establish baseline metrics

By looking more deeply at the data collected during their self-assessment, regulators can establish several baseline metrics outlining the pros and cons of investing in data-driven technologies. Government leaders need to ask themselves crucial, quantitative questions about expenses, revenue, industry trends, and regulatory goals for the future. The data created and processed during this step will prove crucial in making for a smooth and effective jump to data-driven solutions. 

Move to the cloud

As we covered previously, there are many advantages to cloud computing that can make work easier and safer for a regulator. Advanced encryption, off-site data storage, flexibility, and scalability make cloud computing a go-to option for regulators who want to take advantage of the data at their disposal and remain as effective as possible in the modern world. Regulators need to ensure the cloud services they invest in meet their quality standards and expectations, which leads us to our fourth step:  

Explore vendors

When it comes to data-driven cloud technology, industry leaders will simply have an edge over smaller companies when measured by the integrity and robustness of their systems. Google Cloud, for example, has more power to defend the data in its repositories than any given state regulator might.  

According to Matt Singleton, Chief Information Security Officer at the State of Oklahoma’s Office of Management and Enterprise Services, the most important differentiator between vendors is the relationship they can offer regulators. Data-driven tech vendors who have real experts standing by to assist with questions and technical issues at all times will always find more success with regulators than those that focus purely on the technology. 

Though technology enables regulators to make effective data-driven decisions, it would be wasteful to approach vendors unprepared. As you plan to explore vendors, read our complete paper on data-driven regulation to ensure full preparedness. 

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