Tyler's Newest Tech Breaks Governments Data Dams


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Tyler Technologies' newest product, Socrata Connected Government Cloud, wants to help cities, towns, and states run more efficiently, by unshackling the troves of data that they amass each year but keep locked inside old systems.

“You can’t do anything with data if data is in silos, or if every answer to every question is in 100 different spreadsheets, and you don’t even know which one to use for your analysis,” Saf Rabah, VP of Product Strategy at Tyler Technologies, Data and Insights Division told CRN. “The most foundational thing that we’re doing is saying, ‘OK, cool. Silos exist. It may be a fact of life, but we can bring the data from all of these silos, automate the flow, enrich that data, fix the quality, as it gets to the cloud, and have a single source of truth for the organization.’"

Tyler, No. 44 on the CRN SP500, has 15,000 clients in schools, courthouses, and municipal government in all 50 states, as well as in Canada and Australia. It completed the purchase of Socrata in the first quarter of this year. The Utah Department of Transportation is one of the early adopters of this new product, which Rabah said let them see “their world in the data.”

“What the Socrata Connected Government Cloud did in the state of Utah is connect data from the three different systems where the answers are, so now we have the data, and create different ways of looking at it, dashboards, visualizations, reports, sometimes just numbers, so that when the team gets together they’re seeing their world in the data,” Rabah said. “They’re seeing answers come from multiple places, and present them with the things that are actionable.”

Shane Marshall, Utah’s deputy director of transportation, told CRN that the technology gives lawmakers and the public immediate access to live data and lets taxpayers see how their money is being spent.

“We just didn’t have the technology before. Now we can see the bigger picture across the whole organization,” Marshall said. “So we’re able to tell the public, the legislature, when they give us a billion dollars, here’s what you get with it, here are the outcomes with it. We’re able to show the public what they’re getting with their money.”

He said the product has cost the state between $500,000 and $700,000, which he said has been money well spent.

“You make one good decision on a paving project at the right time you save all of that money, plus more, and that’s just on one decision, so every time you can make these good, data-driven decisions you end up really saving tax payer money,” he said. “You don’t have to be a data scientist to mine data anymore.”

Tyler’s purchase of Socrata allows the product to expand across jurisdictional boundaries that have previously limited the exchange of information that could otherwise be used to solve problems such as traffic congestion, Rabah said.

“We want to put this in the hands of as many government organizations as possible," he said.

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