Kendra Smith and I wrote a piece for Government Technology on Intrapreneurship. Public agencies need to build a capacity for intrapreneurship. Intrapreneurs invent new practices, programs, and solutions to address problems and opportunities faced by an organization. These individuals are passionate about the organizations they work for and do not just accept the status quo. They bootstrap and bootleg, they might be viewed as radical (or guerilla) by their peers, and they want to move their organizations ahead. To read more, please click here.
Starting on Thursday, I will be visiting Norway to give several invited lectures. My first stop will be at the BI Norwegian Business School in Oslo. I will be delivering my talk to the Leadership and Organizational Behaviour group.
Disastrous Large-Scale Technology Projects in the Public Sector: Unpacking Complexity
I will examine what accounts for ‘complexity’ when we consider large-scale technology projects in the public sector. There are several examples of such projects from the IRS Business Systems Modernization to the Seattle Monorail Project and, most recently, healthcare.gov. Complexity could arise from the ‘public’ nature of these efforts. Issues to be considered include: the ability to manage expectations of a diverse stakeholder population, the lack of capabilities when it comes to IT management and governance, the fact that these projects are laden with a higher-level of risk from the start as the efforts have a higher degree of innovativeness, setting up of false expectations, escalation of commitments, etc. The paper develops a series of propositions based on data drawn from cases of large-scale technology projects that have turned out to be disasters. A theoretical model is put forth for consideration.
I will then head up to Trondheim, where I will deliver a talk to the Norwegian University of Science and Technology. The talk titled, Data Governance versus Big Computation: Tortoise and the Hare, draws on my current work on big data and analytics for the public good.
Over the last few years, we have certainly seen a flurry of activity around big data. Widespread efforts by a number of academic communities – including computer science, engineering, mathematics, and statistics - have led to advancements in how we capture, store, analyze, visualize, and apply big data. Unfortunately, these advancements have not kept up with innovations in data governance. Deficiencies in data governance limit our ability to truly take advantage of computational advances. In this talk, I will highlight challenges and opportunities in data governance in the context of big data. I will draw on illustrative examples from my work in big data in the public sector and from tackling social challenges (e.g. countering human trafficking).
During my visit to Trondheim, I will also spend time with researchers at SINTEF, the largest independent research organization in
Scandinavia, discussing issues of knowledge management and process improvement in the context of software engineering systems and organizations.
Nonprofits and other social change organizations are lagging their counterparts in the scientific and business communities in collecting and analyzing the vast amounts of data that are being generated by digital technology. Four steps need to be taken to improve the use of big data for social innovation.
Kena Fedorschak, Srivatsav Kandala, Rashmi Krishnamurthy, and I have a paper accepted at the Ninth International Conference on Design Science Research in Information Systems and Technology. The paper, Data Analytics and Human Trafficking, highlights our efforts toward building IT solutions to combat human trafficking at the ASU Decision Theater.
Human trafficking is recognized internationally as an extreme form of violence against women, children, and men. Despite the fact that human trafficking is universally understood to be a burgeoning social problem, a paucity of data and insight into this issue exists. Data analytics has immense potential to elucidate trends in complex social data and inform future policy. We undertook a design science-inspired research approach to build datasets on human trafficking. Three prototypes are presented that describe the methodologies of human traffickers, display correlations between calls reporting suspected trafficking activity and various demographic data, and explicate the effectiveness of US anti-trafficking funding projects.
I will be speaking on Big Data at the Technological Innovation in Government: Toward Open and Smart Government Symposium organized by the Section for Science & Technology in Government of the American Society for Public Administration. Other speakers at the event include Jane Fountain (UMass), Elizabeth Bruce (MIT), Chris Osgood (Office of New Urban Mechanics, City of Boston), and Bill Oates (CIO, Commonwealth of Massachusetts), among others. For more information on the event, please click here.
I will be giving two talks this week on my Big Data report. The first presentation will take place at the Fakultät für Informatik, Technische Universität München on March 12 (See here for more details). I will then fly to Slovenia to give a talk at the Faculty of Information Studies in Slovenia on March 14.