Insider's Guide to Using Information in Government

Peter Bloniarz, Donna Canestraro, Meghan Cook, Tony Cresswell, Sharon Dawes, Mark LaVigne, Theresa Pardo, Jochen Scholl, and Stephanie Simon
Nov. 1, 2000


Cover Insider GuideEvery day, the people inside government use information to develop policies, make decisions, evaluate programs, and deliver services. The Insider's Guide to Using Information in Government draws from real agency experiences to provide a practical resource for government professionals. It covers six related topics (strategy, policy, data, costs, skills, and technology) and illustrates them with stories of state and local agency projects ranging in focus from internal knowledge sharing to statewide program evaluation.

This Guide will help you see how these topics play out in any given project. If you are starting a project of your own, it can help you identify the right questions and lead you to resources that will help you answer them.

Suggestions for using the guide

The goal of the Insider's Guide is to help you become a more informed and effective information user. Whether you are using the information yourself or managing a project that will make it available to others, you will find helpful material throughout the site. It contains topic stories, case studies, summaries, and links to many different resources. You can use the Guide in several ways. Choose one that suits your needs:

Read the overview

This part of the guide summarizes the six topics and the lessons from the cases. It's a quick way to get the big ideas without the details.

Get the scoop on main topics 

The main topics provide an in-depth discussion of the topic, related resources, and links to real-life cases that illustrate the ideas.

Scan the key points 

This list of key points offers very brief "bullet points" that summarize the material covered in depth in all six topic stories.

Read about projects 

The eight case studies are rich descriptions of how agencies like yours have worked through projects that focus on better use of information. 

The guide is arranged in a series of interrelated topics and cases along with an overview and a summary of key points which can be accessed as PDFs in the links below.

Overview pdf download

Presents the problems of using information inside government, brief summaries of the main topics, and a quick way to find which cases illustrate which topics. An Executive Briefing showcases the high level points in the Insider's Guide including short descriptions of the topics, cases, and lessons.


Offer discussion, case illustrations, and links to additional resources about six main topics: strategy, policy, data, cost, skills, and technology. For a quick look at all six topics, see the summary of key points.


Tell the stories of eight projects in which government agencies are putting information to use in human services, financial management, local government operations, IT investment decisions, and more.

Summary of Key Points pdf download

Developing the Insider's Guide pdf download

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