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GCN : July 2015
editor’s note “Show, don’t tell.” It’s familiar advice for anyone who went to journalism school or who regularly writes for an audience. Descriptions can only do so much; what readers really need are concrete examples that can illustrate the issue. That advice increasingly applies to agencies’ use of data as well. Pivot tables and spreadsheets are valuable tools, but too many Americans, including some at senior levels of government, are effectively innumerate. Even for those who have the skills to understand the data, the sheer scope of it means the old approaches are no longer enough. Fortunately, there are new approaches aplenty. Governments at all levels are now painting pictures in pursuit of countless critical missions. In the pages that follow, there are examples of visualizations used to boost situational awareness for border patrols, increase the transparency of international development, improve federal hiring habits and help keep citizens safe in their neighborhoods. We take a particularly deep dive into the analytics being used to spot Medicare fraud — a $60 billion-a- year problem that’s hidden away in data that expands by 4.5 million claims every day. Without advanced algorithms, automated flags and ways to picture the broader patterns in the data, such policing would be all but impossible. There are many more examples worth sharing, some of which are showcased now on GCN.com, while others will be covered in the weeks and months to come. But all of them make one thing clear: Governments are putting more data to work. And that makes for a pretty picture. — Troy K. Schneider firstname.lastname@example.org @troyschneider Show and tell GCN JULY 2015 • GCN.COM 9 Special Report BREAKING THROUGH THE SECURITY CLOUD TOPICS INCLUDE: SECURITY IS STILL A BARRIER TO CLOUD ADOPTION HYBRID CLOUD EmERGES AS THE FRONT RUNNER IAm IS ESSENTIAL FOR HYBRID CLOUDS ENCRYPTION IS TAGGED FOR DATA SECURITY COmPLIANCE IS A HEADACHE FOR CLOUD ADOPTION TO LEARN mORE, VISIT: GCN.COm/2015SNAPSHOTCYBERSECURITY sponsored by: 0715gcn_006-010.indd 9 7/1/15 1:06 PM