Bay Data presented by the Virginia Institute of Marine Science at the College of William and Mary

What is data analytics?

In the day to day operations of the Commonwealth, Virginia’s government agencies deal with an increasingly large amount of information. As storage methods have improved, the sheer amount of data has increased to new highs. Institutions need cutting-edge analytic tools to understand what they can learn from their particular data set.

The era of Big Data and Data Analytics has ushered in an exciting wave of new tools and businesses centered on providing meaningful analysis from the endless waves of new data. The Commonwealth can use these analyses to increase ROI of programs and services and improve citizen outcomes by being more data drive and evidenced based in policy and decision making.

Why does it matter for the commonwealth?

Data Analysis is not new for the Commonwealth. The state has already undertaken several initiatives that utilize data analytics, such as the Virginia Longitudinal Data System (VLDS), which has facilitated data analysis on a diverse set of large datasets, including education and workforce development.  The Governor’s office is partnering with our universities to bring great data analytic capabilities to our agencies to do more with our data to improve services and outcomes for our citizens.

Below are a few projects underway within the program:

  • Service delivery analysis for the Virginia Department for Aging and Rehabilitative Services, sponsored by the University of Virginia (UVA) -- The interns will continue working to identify factors in communities that contribute to variations in-service allocation and maximize agency investments in services based on community need.
  • Better use of existing resources for Elections, VCU -- The interns will support Elections in predicting registrar performance, informing allocation decisions by local election officials and better utilizing agency resources to prepare for and implement elections.
  • Workforce supply and demand for the Virginia Community College System and the Commerce and Trade Secretariat, George Mason University (GMU) and Virginia Tech (VT) -- The interns will support Commonwealth Consortium for Advanced Research and Statistics established under Executive Order 23 to embark on an open jobs data pilot. The goal is to demonstrate how applying the use of open data can lead to increasing the number and quality of matches between job openings and job seekers.
  • Health Opportunity Index (HOI) modeling for the Virginia Department of Health, Virginia Tech (VT) -- The interns will use advanced analytic and spatial modeling using data from the HOI to examine factors impacting population health in urban communities. This will enhance understanding of how social, economic and environmental conditions impact public health outcomes.
  • Other projects include the following agencies: Department of Treasury supported by UVA; Virginia Department of Health supported by VT; Department of General Services, and Department of Housing and Community Development supported by VCU.

All of these initiatives and many more show the capacity that data and analytics has to improve efficiency, performance and most importantly, to learn what the Commonwealth can do to best serve her citizens.

The White House Launches The Opportunity Project

Utilizing Open Data to Build Stronger Ladders of Opportunity for All

The Opportunity Project will put data and tools in the hands of civic leaders, community organizations, and families to help them navigate information about critical resources such as access to jobs, housing, transportation, schools, and other neighborhood amenities.

The Opportunity Project Fact Sheet

What is open data?

Open data is all non-sensitive, public information that is made freely available for public use in an easily readable format. Open data empowers the public to unlock the value of the data. Citizens can develop mobile applications and other tools to use the information in ways which can translate into economic opportunity.  The Commonwealth is committed to continue to grow the number of open datasets on the website.


Virginia Open Data Sources

Datathon 2015 - Winners!

The 2015 Datathon Challenge is a multi-tiered competition that will bring together teams of students, state employees, and professionals  from across the Commonwealth as they create new applications that improve  government. Top projects that use state data were selected during regional events held throughout Virginia and presented in September at the final Commonwealth Datathon event in Richmond.

2015 Datathon Winners

Data in the News

Big Data Meets Big Bio: Grant Provides Training Opportunities for Students University of Virginia researchers will launch a new training program in biomedical data sciences over the next five years, thanks to a $1.43 million National Institutes of Health grant. Called 'Big Data 2 Knowledge,' the five-year grant program will finance a pre-doctoral training program focused on teaching scientists to work at the interface of computer science, statistics, 'big data' and biomedicine, an area where there is a nationwide need. This grant will fund six pre-doctoral students in the 2016-17 academic year and then three a year after that.
Get smart:  Local group calls for open data policy Lucas Ames, creator of Smart Cville, hopes to leverage technology to make Charlottesville a better place to live.
Virginia's Data Re-engineering Internships Boost State Agency Efficiency As the 'silver tsunami' of state government retirements depletes employee ranks, Virginia has created data-focused internships aimed at improving agency efficiency while appealing to millennials' desire for fulfilling careers.
McAuliffe: Virginia is getting serious about big data Virginia has long been a hub for government technology, with so many federal contractors clustered outside of Washington and major military installations in several parts of the state. But now Gov. Terry McAuliffe is pushing for more investments and public-private partnerships focused on big data and analytics, particularly as they pertain to bioscience.
Leveraging Data for State and Local Government Transformation These days, it's not uncommon for a state, city, or county government to make their datasets available to the public. But there are limitations in the usefulness of data if that data isn't being used in strategic ways, especially by the government making the data available. Editors from Route Fifty and data and performance leaders from state & local jurisdictions will discuss the questions below along with good ideas, best practices and approaches to turn public data into the energy that powers government services. 
Governor McAuliffe Announces Launch of Data.Virginia Governor McAuliffe today announced the launch of Data.Virginia, a new online portal that will provide easy access to Virginia's open data and keep Virginians informed of major initiatives that take advantage of big data. Speaking on the new initiative, Governor McAuliffe said: 'Virginia is generating more data on a daily basis than ever before. Much of that information is intended for public access, but is often buried and hard to find. With this new initiative, Virginians will have a one stop shop to get access to data from a variety of sources. That's empowering data that can be used by  citizens to make more informed decisions, by innovators to build cutting-edge applications, and by community stakeholders to plan smarter projects.'
Governor Terry McAuliffe today launched the 2015 Virtual Datathon Challenge This competition will bring together teams of innovators from across the Commonwealth to create new applications that improve government.   For more information and competition registration, please visit  To join the big data conversation, follow @@DataVirginia and #TechInVA.
Virginia honors Datathon winners, public sector leaders: The datathon, the pet project of Deputy Secretary of Technology Anthony Fung, put teams from different Virginia agencies together and challenged them to create applications using state data.

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