For example, the Alameda County Social Services Agency in Oakland, Calif., installed an IBM business intelligence system with a dashboard to help caseworkers keep track of their 250,000 clients.
The organization won a 21st Century Achievement Award in the government category. The awards, which honor the use of IT to benefit society, were announced in a Washington ceremony earlier this month.
Previously, the agency was, "like all companies, data-rich and information-poor," said Don Edwards, the assistant agency director who also oversees IT. "We had a desperate desire to improve the outcome for the children in our care."
In the education category, Alabama's Mobile County Public Schools won an award for a data analytics project that quickly identifies students at risk of failing, so that educators can take fast remedial action.
Other award-winners included the following:
Rave Wireless Inc., which delivers SMS text messages to college students in case of campus emergencies.
Poland's Institute of Physiology and Pathology of Hearing, for a videoconferencing system that supports follow-up care for remote patients who have had cochlear implant surgery.
Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc., for developing an innovative hotel reservation system.
Lifespan Corp., which developed an emergency satellite communications system that can be set up in 20 minutes at disaster sites, providing phone, Internet and radio hookups.
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security, which built the world's fastest and biggest biometric identification system for border security and immigration management.
Read more about bi and analytics in Computerworld's BI and Analytics Topic Center.