We’re taking it slowly on the yellow brick road to automation [Podcast]

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Katie Sadler

We're looking at 335 different diseases across thousands of data points in an even shorter time period. The only way to get there is through process automation,” explains Tyrone Grandison

“We're just on the path. We saw the yellow brick road and we're taking it slowly,” said Tyrone Grandison, chief information officer at the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) (at time of recording), discussing the organization’s journey to automation.

Hoping to apply his computer science skills and experience to make a difference, Grandison joined the University of Washington affiliated global research center IHME, collating data on diseases, injuries, and risk factors that cause people to have shortened lives and evaluating the strategies used to address them.

Intelligent automation seemed inevitable when realizing “we were looking at 335 different diseases across thousands and thousands of data points, 150,000 different data sources, and recognizing that we have to do this on an annual basis, and we have to move to doing this in an even shorter time period.”

“In every delivery of new technology, there’s the business aspect, the legal aspect, the technology aspect, and the societal aspect. I call it my BLTS sandwich”

Prior to his role at IHME, Grandison work in federal government but soon realized automation deployment was not going to be a seamless process.

“In every delivery of new technology, whether it's data, or process, there are multiple aspects. There's normally the business aspect, the legal aspect, the technology aspect, and the societal aspect. I call it my BLTS sandwich. When it comes to the federal space, you realize, acutely, that the business aspect goes out, that aspect goes out, the technology is the easiest of those, and it's all about the legal aspect and what the law says, and the societal aspect,”

Join AIIA Network podcast host Seth Alder as Grandison questions, “How can you do change management if the legislations in place are actually hindering some of what you want to actually do?”


Key takeaways from this week’s AIIA podcast

Open opportunities

“Providing people with opportunities that allow them to actually feel like they are contributing, they're fulfilling, and not surviving, but actually thriving, having the opportunity to become something, or do whatever they actually are good at, whatever they have a passion for, then that would make society a whole lot better.”

Make an impact

“In every single step in my career I've actually realized and questioned how do I have impact? How do I actually magnify or increase the magnitude of that impact?”

IT—not just a resource

“All businesses are now IT businesses,” IT is a business driver, it should be at the table when you actually make decisions.”

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