Federal grant program managers are faced with reduced staff and increased reporting and oversight responsibilities to ensure the highest return on Federal grant investments. They need capabilities to do more with less.
In 2017, Dovel piloted the use of Machine Learning tools to improve the efficiencies of grants processes and provide greater insight into the risks associated with program delivery. This pilot was designed to utilize machine learning to help improve the return on investment of the more than $700B in Federal grant programs. GrantSolutions is an award-winning, government-designated Software as a Service (SaaS) provider that manages more than $80 billion in annual Federal grant awards for grant programs across HHS, DHS, DOT, EPA, HUD, Treasury, State, SSA, and the Denali Commission. We sought to explore how machine learning might bring together data from multiple sources to help agencies decide where to best direct grant investments and to assist them in monitoring and overseeing grant projects.
The initial applications of machine learning in GrantSolutions have resulted in new tools that are dramatically reducing the burden for agency grant managers and giving them better insight into the organizations they are funding. Using data from government systems and other public sources, Dovel is identifying patterns that help predict potential behaviors and outcomes. For example, the tools can predict the likelihood a particular grant applicant will have negative audit findings in the next year with 96% accuracy, and then quickly direct the Federal grant-maker to relevant data that helps them make better-informed decisions. This type of review and analysis used to take hours and days to complete and now takes just seconds.
By unifying data from government systems and the public domain, we provided capabilities that help grantors eliminate or significantly reduce time spent on administrative tasks and increase the focus on activities that deliver the greatest value to the grants mission. While these tools are still maturing, they hold the promise to transform the way that Federal grants are awarded and managed in the years ahead. For more information click here.