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Publications & Results
Reports (1)
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While much is being said and written about big data and data science, much less attention has been given to the skills required of the current and next generation of public managers, policy analysts, and informed citizens who are expected to use new data resources and tools effectively. To begin to address this gap, on May 9, 2014, the Center for Technology in Government at the University at Albany hosted a one-day National Science Foundation (NSF) workshop (Grant # 054069) to explore the integration of data-intensive analytical skills in public affairs education. The event represented the convergence of two streams of activity in the United States and Europe on the topics of policy informatics and policy modeling developed over the past several years. This report highlights the opportunities, challenges, and next steps that emerged from the day.

Journal Articles and Conference Papers (3)
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Natalie Helbig, Manabu Nakashima, and Sharon S. Dawes
Proceedings of the 13th Annual International Conference on Digital Government Research (dg.o2012) , June 4-7, 2012, >Download PDF
Policy informatics is an emergent area of study that explores how information and communication technology can support policy making and governance. Policy informatics recognizes that more kinds, sources and volumes of information, coupled with evolving analytical and computational tools, present important opportunities to address increasingly complex social, political, and management problems. However, while new types and sources of information hold much promise for policy analysis, the specific characteristics of any particular government information resource strongly influences its fitness and usability for analytical purposes. We therefore contend thatinformation itself should be a critical research topic in policy informatics. This poster presentation shows how different aspects of information conceptualization, management, quality, and use can affect its “fitness” for policy analysis.

Natalie Helbig, Manabu Nakashima, and Sharon S. Dawes
Proceedings of the 13th Annual International Conference on Digital Government Research (dg.o2012) , June 4-7, 2012, >Download PDF
Policy informatics is an emergent area of study that explores how information and communication technology can support policy making and governance. Policy informatics recognizes that more kinds, sources and volumes of information, coupled with evolving analytical and computational tools, present important opportunities to address increasingly complex social, political, and management problems. However, while new types and sources of information hold much promise for policy analysis, the specific characteristics of any particular government information resource strongly influences its fitness and usability for analytical purposes. We therefore contend thatinformation itself should be a critical research topic in policy informatics. This poster presentation shows how different aspects of information conceptualization, management, quality, and use can affect its “fitness” for policy analysis.

Sharon S. Dawes, Theresa A. Pardo, and Anthony M. Cresswell
Government Information Quarterly, Mon, 13 Dec 2003, >Download PDF
That electronic government information repositories are growing in number, use, and diversity is one manifestation of the emergence of e-government. These information-centered programs both shape and respond to user demand for electronic government information as computer-mediated user access has displaced traditional staff-mediated access. These programs are no longer concentrated in statistical agencies but increasingly are offered by a wide array of mission-driven operating agencies to complement their other services. This study identified the design dimensions of electronic information access programs by examining mature existing programs. These dimensions address users, uses, organizational capabilities, data characteristics, and technology. The study then explored the application and interdependence of these dimensions in three efforts to design and develop new access programs. The study produced an empirically based, testable model of observable dimensions that shape the cost, complexity, and potential performance of these programs. In addition, the article offers government managers some insight into the practical implications they will face in designing and operating electronic information access programs.