Applied Big Data: Modernizing Mortality Data Systems and Analytic Tools at Center for Disease Control and Prevention

The In Focus mini-series examines more closely issues and topics of importance to federal agencies and contractors. Each month, Federal News Radio speaks with key stakeholders to better understand challenges and opportunities. This month focuses on Science and Technology in Government.

Braun_Collaborate_CroppedThis week’s guest  is Paula Braun, Entrepreneur in Residence for the CDC Mortality Project.  Paula has both a master’s degree in mathematics and a master’s degree in analytics.  She is the ideal person to apply analytics to the world of big data.

Paula’s task is to use a data feed for public health.  This is quite a quotidian concern until you pick up the newspaper and read stories about the Zika virus. All of a sudden you can develop a great interest in public health.

Many do not realize the United States has fifty-seven independent vital record jurisdictions. If you combine that with more than 2,700 people dying every day, you can see the concern for accurate data analysis.

Paula works closely with the National Center for Health Statistics to gain a better understanding of mortality rates for all Americans.  She is really a pioneer; she is helping the CDC develop a set of tools that can be applied to other aspects of public health.