By Anna Shei
March 1, 2021
Everyone continues to watch the numbers around the COVID-19 pandemic. Why? Because these numbers determine how our state leaders decide “what’s next” for Hoosiers. How many vaccines are being administered? How should social gatherings be affected? Should restaurants remain open?
Did you know Indiana has an entire agency devoted to data strategy and making sure our state leaders and agencies have access to the information they need to make the final call? The Indiana Management Performance Hub (MPH) serves as our right-hand for information and the ongoing pandemic is just one example of how they help improve outcomes for Hoosiers. This talented group of data experts work with state agencies to derive insight from information agencies collect as part of their day to day operations. This insight provides our policymakers, agency leaders and even non-governmental partners the necessary tools to make data-driven decisions, all while emphasizing privacy and security for citizens.
COVID-19 Pandemic Response: Keeping Hoosiers Safe
MPH rose to the challenge for Indiana’s Response to the COVID pandemic. They are tracking all the ways the virus is affecting Hoosiers by sharing important data through online dashboards, assisting with data needed for studies to track the virus and working collaboratively with state partners to gain a clear picture of the pandemic in Indiana. All of this data is then provided to Governor Holcomb to help him make the best decisions for our state. The goal of this response? To bring #DataToThePeople! You can go to the Indiana Data Hub and see the information broken down to where you live. You can download aggregate datasets in various formats with COVID-19 demographics by county and district, hospital bed and ventilator usage by day and even a COVID-19 Funds Transparency spreadsheet. Millions of people have visited the various dashboards to learn the latest about where Indiana stands in the ongoing fight against COVID-19 and thousands have subscribed to get daily updates.
Fighting the Opioid Epidemic and Saving Hoosiers’ Lives
Did you know data from MPH led to five additional opioid treatment centers around the state that offer treatment to put individuals addicted to opioids on the path to recovery? That same data helped decide where the centers should be located to make the biggest difference and has been used to help more accurately distribute Naloxone (the opioid overdose reversal drug). MPH is working to end the opioid epidemic by bringing together experts and data from multiple state agencies to create a better picture how this crisis is impacting citizens from various angles. Take a glance at the public dashboards and more through Governor Holcomb’s Next Level Recovery website to see all the work being done to end this epidemic.
Find Tons of Info in One Place: Indiana Data Hub
The Indiana Data Hub is a great resource to view high value datasets in aggregate form. The Hub offers all the datasets mentioned in this blog and information on public services such as food pantries in Marion County, locations of BMV branches and even median home values and family incomes for Indiana. Cruise around and see for yourself all the data they have that may help your next project!
Sharing State Government Data With You
You can learn how and where the state invests its funds and resources through the Indiana Transparency Portal (ITP). This Portal is designed to allow better visibility, openness and accountability for Hoosiers. MPH assists in presenting information in a user-friendly format. You can look up state debt, contracts, employees and their salaries, assets and general fund revenue. In 2018, the Auditor of State along with the State Budget Agency and MPH began a huge project to improve the user experience on the site. While the Auditor of State’s office manages the ITP, some of that data is housed on the Indiana Data Hub. More than 15 agencies contribute data to this portal including DOR.
Taking Data and Making Improvements in Communities
MPH is working directly in your communities with the launch of the Indiana Data Partnership (IDP). The IDP brings together government, non-profit and private sector entities to collaborate and share data in order to drive positive outcomes for citizens. The IDP identifies innovative data analysis opportunities that address public needs across various sectors and communities.
One example is helping Employ Indy improve their Youth Employment Services (YES) program. YES, targets youth in central Indiana ages 17 through 25 who are not currently enrolled in high school (both graduates and non-graduates are eligible) and connects them with education, training and certifications to help them get a great job. Employ Indy needed to identify the best areas to expand its programs and that’s where IDP stepped in to do an assessment of key demographics, workforce resources and more. This allowed Employ Indy to find the best locations to provide the highest impact to the community and two potential sites were identified. You can learn more by watching the interactive presentation of the process.
Helping Other State Agencies Solve Problems
You may be surprised to learn just how all state agencies are linked together. MPH is constantly teaming up with state agencies to help find solutions. The Education & Workforce Development database is an example of great teamwork. MPH is partnering with several other state agencies to carry out the Governor’s initiative to create a better 21st Century skilled and ready workforce. The Education & Workforce Development database provides decision-makers with information that may not have been connected or linked if the agencies and commissions had not come together such as college enrollment rates. This program gathered all the combined data of the agencies/commissions and leveraged the information in favor of students, teachers, workers and employers to determine where funding should be allocated and improve college readiness programs. Thanks to this program, we now have a better picture of what areas need improved and what areas need support to keep improving. Taking data and improving local communities and solving problems helps all Hoosiers have a better chance for success.
Need more data?
Dig deeper into the numbers on the MPH website! Along with a focus on collecting and interpreting data, MPH also works with agencies and communities to help them understand how using data can positively affect a community or business.
MPH is committed to help make the flow of critical information between state agencies, researchers and community organizations possible. Can’t find what you need to know? You can request data through the data request portal and a team member will be assigned to your case. The entire mission for this agency is to improve the quality of life for Hoosiers with data, innovation and collaboration. With the information you can find on the MPH website, it is hard to argue with those numbers!