Mature elegant fema, ... ]

Mature elegant fema, ... ] iStock/shironosov

Time for Transparency: Government Leaders Increase Public Trust with Data

Today, government leaders must be able to clearly communicate trusted COVID-19 data to constituents. Data visualization and analysis capabilities can assist government leaders as they help citizens navigate the crisis.

Presented by Tableau's logo

This sentiment is especially true today, at a time where people rely on data to stay safe and healthy; it’s up to government leaders to communicate this data clearly and effectively to their constituents. Whether it’s a month-over-month comparison of the number of COVID-19 cases in the United States, or a count of available hospital beds per county, data has become an invaluable asset for agencies as they continue to help citizens navigate the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“Data has become really important as a topic of conversation as we're looking at how to make a difference in the world, especially now,” said Leo Blackwell, regional vice president at Tableau. “Federal leaders have a large role to play in this effort, and that starts with the ability to see and understand data better.” 

Using Data To Improve Trust and Accountability in Government

Government leaders and elected officials are at the forefront of the Coronavirus response, and as such, they are tasked with communicating real-time information to the citizens they serve. But that’s not always easy, especially when this information is outdated or inconsistent. What’s more, the narratives and recommendations around the COVID-19 pandemic are constantly changing, because the United States — and the rest of the world — has never experienced anything like it. 

Given this sense of uncertainty, the need for federal leaders to communicate transparently about the virus and its effects is more important than ever. And so is ensuring this data is trustworthy; after all, trust is a key factor in successfully navigating a global health crisis. A 2006 survey that was released after the SARS epidemic found that people who did not trust their government to communicate accurate information about an outbreak were less likely to take preventative measures, such as wearing a face mask or getting a vaccine. 

Understanding these challenges, Tableau made a decision to foster transparency and data sharing by creating the COVID-19 Data Hub, a one-stop shop for the most relevant COVID-19-related data. The platform aggregates location-based data from the most trusted data sources and updates these numbers daily to reflect changes in cases, testing sites and other important information. It also features a COVID-19 starter workbook that provides agencies with the tools they need to build their own dashboards. Users can access information from multiple trusted sources and integrate additional data, too.

“People are leveraging this data at the enterprise level and really using it to drive their mission forward,” said Jennifer Nowell, regional vice president of Federal Civilian Sales at Tableau. “There are certainly different levels of maturity in terms of how certain organizations use and interpret data, but once people begin to understand it they can change their organization for the better.” 

This approach has been especially useful as agencies navigate the economic impacts of COVID-19. The Center for Medicare and Medicaid, for example, is one health and human services agency that has been particularly busy lately. In accordance with the CARES Act, CMS is responsible for providing grant money and relief funds to healthcare facilities in America’s most vulnerable communities. In a move toward increased transparency and accountability, CMS used data visualization to gain insight into where COVID-19 cases had spiked and what facilities were in the most critical need of funding. By creating public dashboards, CMS was then able to communicate how its staff had distributed COVID-19 grants to the people who needed them the most. 

The Path Toward Accessibility 

This data, however, is most effective when it is digestible and easy to understand. That’s where data visualization capabilities like Tableau’s public dashboards, charts and mapping tools come in handy. These visualizations don’t just help government organizations better understand their data; they also package it in a way that is accessible to the people they serve. That means getting creative with templates, colors and other tools that allow users to tell a data story. 

“The ability to better see and understand your data is going to be something that people want to be a part of,” Blackwell said. “If data is the next natural resource, providing capabilities to help you see that data is going to become much more commonplace.” 

As new tools and technologies become widely available, there are seemingly endless opportunities for agencies to leverage data to improve the citizen experience. 

“People often talk about data as a revolution,” said Nowell. “But it’s really an evolution. Data is always evolving, and there’s a huge opportunity for the public sector to take this data and coalesce it in ways they never have before.”

Learn more about how government leaders can increase data transparency with Tableau. 

This content is made possible by our sponsor Tableau; it is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of GovExec’s editorial staff.

NEXT STORY: How USAID Global Health Improves Data Sharing, Helps People in Need and Saves lives

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.