Ohio to mine government data for answers to tough issues

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Ohio is making plans to restructure its vast stores of government data so they can be mined for possible solutions to the state’s most complex problems. That includes infant mortality, opiate addiction, illiteracy and unemployment.

Republican Gov. John Kasich’s (KAY’-sik’s) administration has spent months laying the groundwork for the effort. Experts say it would be among the most sweeping of its kind by any U.S. state.

A request for proposals is expected soon. Qualified firms would get periodic opportunities to match up and analyze data collected by some of Ohio’s roughly 120 agencies, boards and commissions and stored in about 1,600 separate electronic information systems.

Government data experts say Ohio must navigate a labyrinth of data protection and privacy laws to successfully launch the initiative.