A Conversation with Dana Fox

Can you give a brief overview of your topic/idea, and why you’re so passionate about it?

Big data and analytics can help agencies deliver better services for less. Discovering trends and patterns help develop micro strategies that can be scaled globally. As Director of Global Business Development at Athena Software, I help agencies deliver better services for less. Understanding what is possible and taking action to help countries deliver better services for less is what Canada does best. Listen and help others with innovative solutions on a global scale.

Can you tell us about the history of this idea - how did you conceive of it?

I interviewed over 3500 human service agencies in 15 countries, in 5 continents and they are overwhelmed with clients looking for help. I spoke with federal, state and regional governments and there is little room for expanding human services budgets. The day of asking for more money is over. Governments will need to consider micro regional strategies using trends and patterns identified in big data as a means to reduce the cost and improve delivery.

How does your topic fit in with our theme of Interconnectedness?

Human service agencies are moving from a transactional process that requires data to a transformational process that asks, ‘Are we making a difference and how can we improve the delivery of human services”?. Internet of Things (IoT) gives human services the ability to collect more data using a digital interface with a clients life experience. The collection of linear data in justice, health, social services and education increases with the adoption of digital devices.

What does Interconnectedness mean to you?

Data is being collected with a reach and frequency not possible even a few years ago. The ability to use a client centric lens on big data opens the possibility of connecting and collaborating on a global scale with government departments, human service agencies and families. Interconnectedness improves digital capture and quality of life.

What is your goal in delivering this TED talk?

The TED talk is a catalyst for broadcasting a message of hope that encourages global communities to use IoT and big data to create micro strategies and deliver more human services for less.