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Elaine Howle

Wandering Eye: Government's big data problem, how cops handle mental illness, and more

Wandering Eye: Government's big data problem, how cops handle mental illness, and more

Governing Magazine did an overdue survey of local and state governments' use of data, focusing on the quality of that data. They found it bad. As "big data" takes over the world, the problem of bad data—"dirty" data with keystroke errors, missing fields, and "cooked" data because the jobs of the people taking the data depend on the data looking a certain way—has been the major underreported story. So Governing polled auditors and data managers in 46 states. Seventy percent of them "said bad data is a problem 'frequently' or 'often.'" The data entry errors tend to cost money (rather than saving money or—if...

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