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AN ANALYTICAL APPROACH TO EVALUATING POSITIVE OUTCOMES: Open Access

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The decision process for technology projects often includes a financial return on investment (ROI) analysis. This is a well-known and established process that has been widely used in the private sector. A modified version is the cost benefit analysis, which is used in the public sector. Both of these processes use the time value of money, which is where an issue arises. In order to perform a return on investment or cost benefit analysis, all current and future data has to be stated in present value cash. This is referred to as economic accounting. Quantifying technology projects in terms of future dollars can be very difficult. Many technology projects will have a significant impact on the overall market or individual product lines, so that the current models of expense and revenue will no longer apply. In the public sector, the problems are further compounded. Here, many cash impacting items such as interest, depreciation, and taxes are not applicable. This project looks for an alternative way to evaluate technology in the public sector by studying the applicability of defining, ranking, and predicting outcome measures. This method is intended to be an alternative or adjunct to the cost benefit process. A process is defined that will show the value of a new technology using expert elicitation. With expert elicitation, the probability of successful outcomes is calculated. Using outcomes tied to strategic goals, the decision maker can assess the probability of how their organization will be impacted. The project also looks at the relationship between centrally- developed goals and those of the local organization. This project uses the National Information Exchange Model 2.0 (NIEM 2.0) rollout as a case study. 

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