Tennessee has its eye on the long-term benefits data analytics can bring to the state. At the National Association of State Chief Information Officers midyear conference last month, Deputy Chief Information Officer Stephanie Dedmon talked about an effort within the IT office to focus on getting the fundamentals in place. 

A recently-created Center of Excellence for Data has prioritized the creation of a data governance policy and other standards to enable data-sharing between agencies and data analytics projects in Tennessee. Similar foundational work is under way in Florida — more evidence that states are moving past recognizing the value of the data they hold and moving on to concrete efforts to put that data to work.

Once data policies are in place, Dedmon sees a number of places where it could make an impact. Traffic data, like crash information, could fuel better signage and right-of-way decisions, Dedmon said, and health care, specifically the opioid crisis, is another area where timely, accurate data streams could help inform better policy. "I know many states are looking at that and being asked to implement strategies and technologies," she added.