HUD Setting Up Data Warehouse

WASHINGTON (05/02/2000) - In an effort to better manage low-income housing nationwide, the Department of Housing and Urban Development has hired data mining company MicroStrategy Inc. to develop a data warehouse and provide software to analyze it.

MicroStrategy is being paid $5.8 million to provide HUD with a system that will help the agency better track its spending and better plan its programs, said Richard Burk, HUD's associate deputy assistant secretary for administration.

HUD provides about 5 million subsidized housing units for 11 million people across the United States and arranges 5,000 mortgages each day.

The data warehouse is intended to integrate HUD's geographic data with agencywide data. It should enable HUD to tell more precisely where its money is being spent and what the spending yields. "We want to be consistent, accurate, timely and make decisions based on fact," Burk said.

The agency also wants "to reconnect with the public" by providing more information about what it does, he said.

"We will be able to answer questions like, "How much money did we spent in a particular congressional district,' or "How many female heads of households," Burk said. "Those are the kinds of questions we get."

The data system also will improve the agency's ability to predict outcome if particular changes were to be made to housing programs. Some analysis is expected to be done by combining HUD databases with census data, Burk said. The data warehouse and analytical tools are expected to be in place by Sept. 1.

Eventually, MicroStrategy is expected to develop for HUD "the government's first Web and wireless portal - myHUD," which would make HUD data available through the World Wide Web and via broadcasts to wireless devices, MicroStrategy officials announced.

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