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The Center for Technology in Government (CTG), through the Using Information in Government (UIG) Program, has worked with New York State agency project teams and partners from the public, private, and academic sectors to identify benefits and strategies for integrating and using information for program planning, evaluation, and decision making. The policy, management, and technology issues identified through our work with the agency teams are being shared with the public in a series of seminars focused on increasing the value of information to government programs.

This report summarizes the presentations given at the fourth session of the Using Information in Government Seminar Series, "Putting Information Together: Building Integrated Data Repositories," which was held on February 9, 2000 at the University at Albany/SUNY. This seminar dealt with the lessons learned during the Homeless Information Management System (HIMS) project conducted by CTG and the NYS Bureau of Shelter Services (BSS). The prototype data repository incorporates information from a variety of sources to help BSS and homeless shelter providers manage and evaluate services for homeless families and single adults in New York State. Using the HIMS prototype development as an example, the seminar highlighted the management, policy, and technology issues organizations face when creating integrated data repositories. The seminar included several presentations, a demonstration, and panel discussion:

  • BSS Director Robert Dawes and BSS Homeless Services Representative II Jane Wagner discussed how their agency developed the business case for the HIMS prototype.
  • University at Albany Associate Professor Lakshmi Mohan talked about the data challenges of the project.
  • Oracle Corporation Technical Manager Pat Schaffer recounted how the prototype data repository was built.
  • The capabilities and functionality of the HIMS prototype were demonstrated by Oracle Corporation Principal
  • Consultant Samir Ahuja with assistance from Bob and Pat.
  • CTG Project Support Manager Donna Canestraro provided an overview of lessons learned during the HIMS project.
  • The seminar concluded with a panel discussion moderated by Canestraro and involved Bob, Lakshmi, and Pat, as well as Greg Shinn (Director of Social Services for John Heuss House) and Edward Canfield (Data Processing Systems Auditor II for the NYS Department of Family Assistance).