With about 7.2 million inhabitants, Goiás is the most populous state in Brazil’s center-west region and includes Brasilia, the country’s capital. The Secretary of State for Development and Innovation in Goiás (SEDI GO) is an administrative organization within the state government responsible for, among other things, creating and executing science, technology, connectivity, and innovation policy.
Shared data helps government help people
In Goiás, one of the most important missions of the Secretary of State for Development and Innovation (SEDI GO) is to provide people who work for the state with better tools that serve the public in areas including healthcare, education, security, and infrastructure. SEDI GO sees data as a way to strategically help those agencies help society as a whole. In support of that mission, the organization in 2021 launched its public-facing Expresso portal and app, through which citizens of Goiás can access 110 of the most important government services online.
Expresso marked the first wave of the state’s digital transformation by allowing citizens to, for example, pay bills online and receive other government services remotely. But Expresso is just a precursor to an even more ambitious plan called Citizens Information Portal that aggregates data from all the state’s 42 agencies – including health, economy, and traffic – into a central repository that enables those agencies to make well-informed spending decisions to improve public services.
This might include determining where to build a new school or hospital or providing better internet access based on which areas of the state need those services the most. Or, if a person has lost their job, the state wants to be able to access data about that person’s work experience and skills to help them find new employment.
Without a centralized data repository with cross-agency information accessible to government decision-makers, each agency works in an isolated environment that impedes efficient use of taxpayer money.
A data lakehouse that pools government data
To ensure agency data is available to all areas of government, Rodrigo Michel, Undersecretary of State for Development and Innovation for Goiás, and his team decided to build a repository of data. This repository would help government officials analyze data related to public health, finances, vehicular traffic, and other matters impacting important public spending decisions.
SEDI GO turned to Cloudera Data Platform (CDP) as a way to pool government information in a place where it can be accessed to help improve people’s lives, in particular those of the state’s poorest citizens. Data is uploaded to a data lakehouse and processed to make it as easy as possible for policymakers to find and analyze. Although several state agencies have yet to upload their data, this is the first-time data from participating departments has been accessible from a central location.
“When we first started working with Cloudera, nobody believed we could build this type of service for the state,” Michel said. “Once we began using CDP to aggregate information from a few agencies, more and more started to believe in the project and the impact it could have on our citizens.”
With Cloudera’s help, SEDI Go re-created 100% of the standardization and optimizing process in the unique portal with citizens and entities. Michel’s goal is to include data from all 42 agencies in the services system. “With Cloudera’s help, we are looking to be the first government entity in Brazil able to support the public using data integrated from all of our agencies and create an atlas for all agencies,” he said.
Citizens Information Portal allows data to flow across government agencies
Powered by Cloudera, SEDI GO’s Expresso portal is expected to support digital government services for more than 2 million citizens in Goias, starting in early 2023. SEDI GO expects to use CDP to help create the Artificial Intelligence to support text simplification evaluation for citizens. SEDI GO is also working to improve the user interface, to make it as easy as possible for agency users to take advantage of the platform’s self-service analytics capabilities.
Michel still has work to do in convincing many state agencies to participate in this project. Many agencies are used to operating on their own, so they don’t yet see the benefits of merging their data with data from other agencies. His hope is that, as participants begin making successful decisions with help the remaining agencies will want to contribute their data.
Looking ahead, SEDI GO seeks to use CDP's hybrid capabilities and portability to achieve high availability and ensure low latency, so their implementation can grow seamlessly as the project scales. The idea is to cost-effectively secure sufficient computing resources whenever they are needed, for example, to meet the surges in network traffic that occur when families use SEDI GO’s services to sign up their children for school. Michel knows that the state’s population doesn’t care how high tech or innovative his organization is – the people of Goiás want to know that the services they rely on will always be available.
“We chose to work with Cloudera because we like the support they provide, and they have a track record of serving some of the most important companies and organizations in the world,” Michel said. “We made the right choice at the right moment for us.”