The Problem with Government Data Silos
Data silos are common in all industries but, as technology continues to improve, so does the effort to eliminate data silos. While not all information can be shared between every department for certain security reasons, data silos pose a number of problems that slow down procedures, cost more money, lead to error, and more. Governing elaborates on the problem of data silos in both government, “The problem with silos is that they cause people to focus insularly on the specific mission contained within their agency…Government must ensure that the structure and procedures necessary to see the big picture and accomplish the broad goals are in place and enabled. To truly understand the problems caused by silos in government, one needs to look no further than state and local economic-development initiatives. Virtually every state and local government has an economic-development agency devoted to encouraging businesses to locate or stay in their state or locality. The economic-development agency director and his or her employees focus on gathering resources for their department to use to entice businesses. They may perform their specific mission extremely well. Unfortunately, this activity — sometimes referred to as “smokestack chasing” — overlooks the importance of other important “quality of life” factors in retaining or attracting businesses. Education, taxes, crime, culture and health care are also factors that figure into company location decisions. Therefore, activities of departments responsible for these issue areas should be considered essential to the creation of a positive environment for economic development. At the very least, government should be structured to ensure that people working in various silos are working together, communicating and pursuing broader goals together.”
How to Break Down Government Data Silos
While we use the term ‘break down’ government data silos, perhaps a better way to describe it is building a more effective means of sharing information between silos. In this modern era, this cannot be achieved without effective software designed for information sharing and collaboration. At Avolve Software, we saw this need and, using decades of experience, created software that accelerates business processes, improves citizen services, and helps the environment in communities of all sizes. ProjectDox is the industry’s leading Electronic Plan Review software and it automates the plan review process to accelerate it and improve information sharing and transparency to eliminate data silos in government. ProjextDox, Online Application Submission, and PlansAnywhere are powerful tools that, when used by governments, can save money, protect the environment, expedite processes, improve citizen safety and quality of living, and that is all ultimately achieved by breaking down government data silos.