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At a recent forum in the US, government officials talked about how data and performance measures are needed to build better government services. The tough part is how to “meet this illusive reverie”, which was the main topic of discussion.

The article includes a case study about how officials from San Mateo, California used data to improve the effectiveness of a social services programme, the challenges they had, and the outcome. One interesting insight was that regulations and policy stand in the way of productive data-centred efforts, not technology.

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