Sandra oversees the government’s information and technology systems. She’s also responsible for looking into the future for the best new tech to employ to make the government services more efficient, while ensuring continued support of legacy systems.

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How are you using Watson in your business?
One of our departments needed to improve the monitoring and evaluation of one of its programs, and have access to data to make better evidence-based decisions. Hundreds of submissions were made to the program monthly, and they were either paper-based or in electronic spreadsheet format. It was impossible to effectively evaluate or report on the activities and the outcomes of the program. We used Watson to analyze the reports and assess patterns, flag misalignments, and predict future behaviors.

What benefits are you realizing withyour organization's use of AI?
Working with AI makes you start thinking differently. We humans can only assess a certain amount of data but with AI the more data you can feed it the more insightful the findings are.

What advice would you share with others who are considering using AI?
First, make sure AI is the right solution. Then start small—really small. Grow the solution slowly. Also, start with something that’s easy. Don’t go for the most complex decisions right away.

What do you believe is most critical to making an AI project successful in driving business results?
AI has to solve a real business problem, and you need to remember that there will be a lot of learning along the way. Plus, there are lots of new things to think about, for example, the ethical use of AI in making decisions and how we have to be prepared to demonstrate that the coding and algorithms are unbiased.

What else are you passionate about in your life?
I am passionate about solving problems to help people and make their lives better. Whether that is as small as streamlining a process all the way to introducing big technology changes that are innovative and rock the world.

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