Key Takeaways from MACo Winter Conference’s Discussion on Facilitating States’ Data-Driven Outcomes

Key Takeaways from MACo Winter Conference’s Discussion on Facilitating States’ Data-Driven Outcomes

Voyatek recently attended the Maryland Association of Counties (MACo) Winter Conference, where state and local officials had the opportunity to gather to discuss technology’s impact on government services. Jake Bittner, Voyatek’s Chief Growth Officer, sat down with Carlos Rivero, former Chief Data Officer of the Commonwealth of Virginia, to discuss lessons learned from Virginia’s implementation of the Framework for Addiction Analysis and Community Transformation (FAACT) data sharing platform and how Maryland can look to achieve the same success. Here are our key takeaways from the session:

Bridge the divide between state and municipal data

The implementation of the FAACT data sharing platform addressed the challenges caused by limited data sharing at the state level. Counties and municipalities report data to the state, but oftentimes state data is not made available to localities in return. Without access to statewide data, local public health agencies lack the ability to make informed, data-driven decisions. FAACT allows these agencies in Virginia to access vital data, and in return, make informed decisions that better serve their residents. These agencies are then able to demonstrate these data-driven outcomes and leverage them for additional federal funding.

Build capabilities, not systems

FAACT was built off of specific capabilities, such as data governance, sharing, integration, and analytics. By integrating a wide variety of focused solutions into a single system, public health agencies can have a specialized yet adaptable tool, while still having access to individualized capabilities that can be deployed on a case-by-case basis. FAACT’s flexibility has already allowed Virginia to utilize it to address the opioid epidemic, COVID-19, and human trafficking.

Driving positive outcomes for counties

Challenges and miscommunications between state and local governments impede the effective sharing of data. By working alongside a state’s Association of Counties, Municipal League, representatives, and delegates, limitations to the access of state data can be overcome. Understanding the individualized needs of each locality expedites the delivery of operational data, empowering states to make a more immediate impact so that municipalities can maximize their positive outcomes and drive positive change.