What we can learn from the public sector’s response to COVID-19

Presented by Tableau's logo

I recently had a fireside chat at our Government Summit with our CEO and President Adam Selipsky to get his thoughts about how the public sector is leading through change in response to COVID-19.

During this crisis, the rapid acceleration of data use by public sector organizations has been truly astounding. When the virus hit, the public sector almost immediately turned to data to help navigate the crisis. Federal, state, and local agencies like New York State Department of HealthKing County (home to Seattle), and the National Health Service in the UK all set up dashboards and vizzes to track the virus—including number of infections, testing sites and supplies, hospital beds, healthcare personnel, and more. Quickly seeing and sharing data helped them make decisions fast, redirect resources, and save lives.

A broad and general consensus is this crisis is driving a business and social transformation, whether we want it or not. Every entity, including the public sector, will be driven to assess what they’ve learned and to define what will keep—or make them—relevant in this new reality. As a result, new processes, new technologies and innovations, and most importantly, a new mindset on decision making, will emerge. At the center of this transformation will be data! Specifically, how organizations create a data-driven culture at all levels of their organization to survive and thrive in this new reality.

"It gets to the heart of what it takes to succeed with making data a key asset in the organization, and making sure it stays that way, not just in times of crisis but making it a permanent state,” Adam said during our talk. “In many aspects, there will be no going back. You hear a lot about the ‘next normal,’ and data will be a big part of that. By the same token, it won’t just happen by itself."

At Tableau, we know that data should be central to all decision-making and processes. But seeing it in practice during this crisis we are even more convinced that data will drive the “next normal”—access and use of data will be imperative for any organization in the recovery ahead.

Here are some other key takeaways from this years’ Government Summit (watch the recording here).

Data is taking a central role in recovery efforts

One thing became abundantly clear during this crisis: If you’re not using data to guide your decision-making, you will quickly fall behind.

Data and analytics are central to evaluating all the information, filling in the missing pieces, and coming together to make a decision to move forward based on facts. Speed and agility are critical. In fact, we found in some cases that making a good decision too late was the same as making a bad decision early. When the stakes are this high—and the timeframe for decisive action is real-time—seeing, interacting, and understanding the right information is absolutely critical.

Take the Veterans Health Administration, for example. In their Government Summit presentation, they talked about needing a more comprehensive view of supply pipelines across their nationwide network of hospitals. To understand stock on hand and to create distribution plans, they had to centralize data from over 17 different data sources and tie together non-logistics data (like COVID-19 case data) with logistics data (like supply receipts) to prioritize supply distribution to the areas hit hardest by the virus. This foundational work not only benefited them in their real-time response, but it also set the stage to improve data processes, quality, and accuracy in the months ahead.

The Southwest Texas Regional Advisory Council is designated by the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) to develop, implement, and maintain the regional trauma and emergency healthcare system for 22 counties. In his presentation, Division Director of Data Analytics, Lawrence Roakes talked about how they developed healthcare system stress scores, using a Tableau dashboard to track important metrics around overall system health. They also developed dashboards to track testing rates by region to make important logistics and operations decisions. And as the pandemic progresses, the council continues to refine their processes and encourage broader adoption across the agency so that when new questions arise, they have the data and people in place to answer them. It’s not a static process, but an interactive process of decision making.

In the recovery ahead, these new or adapted data processes will be key to respond to emerging challenges associated with stabilization and reopening.

A data-first mindset sets you up for a successful data culture

We know data and working in this new digital world are imperative to recovery and success ahead. But how do you make it stick when the crisis fades?

Last year, before coronavirus, we were talking with customers on a global scale about what it takes to make data an everyday practice. They told us that it wasn’t just about the technology. Many senior leaders said that it is about creating a data culture, establishing a new way of behaving and thinking, and developing a change-management program that puts data at the center of every decision.

Sometimes this means rethinking how data is consumed and shared. For example, in her Government Summit presentation, Amber M. Noel, Branch Chief of Analysis and Communications at FEMA talked about the Data Sharing Directive, signed by FEMA administrators in July 2019. When building out new data projects, they’re taking a “share by design” approach, emphasizing the importance of sharing data internally and with complimentary organizations like the American Red Cross and the Department of Housing and Urban Development—all while keeping data safe by baking in routine information use agreements and privacy controls.

We’re already seeing strong, top-down directives from leadership during this crisis that everyone should have access to data to drive critical decisions. As we move into the recovery phase, leadership shouldn’t let up on that mindset. Data is key in a crisis, and it is also essential for the long road ahead. You do this by creating a community around learning and sharing, upskilling your workforce in data literacy, and using your learnings to drive your long-term strategy moving forward.

We’re here to help

Transformation means staying relevant in periods of ongoing change. The common element for organizations working hard to regain their footing, and establish or maintain relevance, is data.

To help you move forward, Tableau has created the COVID-19 Data Hub, which includes a jumpstart workbook to help you start your own analysis, and our Leading Through Change With Data content series features the best ideas, tips, and practices we’ve collected from leaders around the world. Salesforce also just launched Work.com, a guide to reopening that will help all of us get back to work safely.

Additionally, we’re offering free elearning for Tableau for 90 days and the Tableau Desktop Specialist Certification at a 50 percent discount (offers valid through June 30, 2020). We hope that by making Tableau more widely available, it will give your people the skills they need to help them through this difficult time and prepare them for the “next normal.”

X
This website uses cookies to enhance user experience and to analyze performance and traffic on our website. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners. Learn More / Do Not Sell My Personal Information
Accept Cookies
X
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Do Not Sell My Personal Information

When you visit our website, we store cookies on your browser to collect information. The information collected might relate to you, your preferences or your device, and is mostly used to make the site work as you expect it to and to provide a more personalized web experience. However, you can choose not to allow certain types of cookies, which may impact your experience of the site and the services we are able to offer. Click on the different category headings to find out more and change our default settings according to your preference. You cannot opt-out of our First Party Strictly Necessary Cookies as they are deployed in order to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting the cookie banner and remembering your settings, to log into your account, to redirect you when you log out, etc.). For more information about the First and Third Party Cookies used please follow this link.

Allow All Cookies

Manage Consent Preferences

Strictly Necessary Cookies - Always Active

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data, Targeting & Social Media Cookies

Under the California Consumer Privacy Act, you have the right to opt-out of the sale of your personal information to third parties. These cookies collect information for analytics and to personalize your experience with targeted ads. You may exercise your right to opt out of the sale of personal information by using this toggle switch. If you opt out we will not be able to offer you personalised ads and will not hand over your personal information to any third parties. Additionally, you may contact our legal department for further clarification about your rights as a California consumer by using this Exercise My Rights link

If you have enabled privacy controls on your browser (such as a plugin), we have to take that as a valid request to opt-out. Therefore we would not be able to track your activity through the web. This may affect our ability to personalize ads according to your preferences.

Targeting cookies may be set through our site by our advertising partners. They may be used by those companies to build a profile of your interests and show you relevant adverts on other sites. They do not store directly personal information, but are based on uniquely identifying your browser and internet device. If you do not allow these cookies, you will experience less targeted advertising.

Social media cookies are set by a range of social media services that we have added to the site to enable you to share our content with your friends and networks. They are capable of tracking your browser across other sites and building up a profile of your interests. This may impact the content and messages you see on other websites you visit. If you do not allow these cookies you may not be able to use or see these sharing tools.

If you want to opt out of all of our lead reports and lists, please submit a privacy request at our Do Not Sell page.

Save Settings
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Cookie List

A cookie is a small piece of data (text file) that a website – when visited by a user – asks your browser to store on your device in order to remember information about you, such as your language preference or login information. Those cookies are set by us and called first-party cookies. We also use third-party cookies – which are cookies from a domain different than the domain of the website you are visiting – for our advertising and marketing efforts. More specifically, we use cookies and other tracking technologies for the following purposes:

Strictly Necessary Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Functional Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Performance Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Social Media Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Targeting Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.