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It took the Peach State about seven years, but its data accuracy is now in the 90th percentile.
The Georgia Technology Authority has clean data to thank for reducing its customer billing disputes, allowing the state to spend more time improving its systems.
The authority can now boast data with accuracy in the 90th percentile. But things weren’t always that way. In 2007, GTA had a comprehensive assessment of its infrastructure management services done covering everything from computing to security to maintenance.
A year later, GTA began privatizing IT services traditionally provided internally, with IBM winning an infrastructure services contract and AT&T a managed network services contract.
“One of the problems with asset management is, if you’re just pulling data sources from a single system or there’s no back-end system to compare records, you can end up with duplicate entries in a database or partial records,” Dean Johnson, GTA’s chief operating officer, said in an interview. “It wasn’t that we had bad source data. When you have multiple sources in an ecosystem, if you can’t compare and reconcile appropriately it lends itself to errors in the system and questions about the integrity of your data.”
Still not confident with asset managment, 18 months ago GTA had Blazent, a Livermore, California-based data intelligence company, configure a toolset environment with 19 feeds going into the platform.
The system analyzes and compares datasets against each other to create a “record of truth,” Johnson said, because simply maintaining an inventory of assets isn’t enough—configuration upkeep is a must.
“It wasn’t necessarily to save money but to reduce risk to the state and improve service delivery to customers,” he said.
The largest of GTA’s approximately 1,300 customers are the departments of Human Services, Public Health and Public Safety.
Serving 100,000 end users, multiple data feeds improve the Blazent platform’s ability to find similar records across tools like Maximo, McAfee and NetBrain and siloed government agencies. Johnson recommends IT departments have at least four or five sources for data validation.
With Blazent on the front end, GTA sees far fewer anomalies on the backend when it comes to billing—once done manually.
GTA also gained the equipment refresh ability, keeping software up-to-date, and has entered its next generation of sourcing. Paris-based IT consulting corporation Capgemini was brought on in March to take over GTA’s service desk this month, introducing its Service Integrator.
“We’re creating more checks and balances in terms of services that we offer,” Johnson said. “IBM used to manage the service desk; now IBM can focus on services that drive improvements in infrastructure.”
He added: “Capgemini was excited to see we had already purchased tools that reconciled data and could naturally feed into their system.”
Georgia also recompeted AT&T’s managed network services contract and will announce a new service provider soon.
"With Capgemini providing service integration on the Georgia Enterprise Technology Services (GETS) shared services delivery platform, we have enabled more flexibility to adapt to the ever-changing business needs of our customers and IT marketplace," Johnson said.
Dave Nyczepir is News Editor for Government Executive’s Route Fifty.