The Link Between Machine Learning and Government Data

A recent CIO article listed machine learning as one of the five enterprise technologies that will shake things up in 2017. The article provided the inspiration for this post, which will take a look at how machine learning is helping global enterprises manage government impact.

Every day, headlines around the world highlight developments in global government activities and the associated uncertainty. At the recent World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, world business leaders went so far as to list government impact as one of their top three concerns for 2017 (after sales and innovation).

In this post, we will explore the following questions: What is machine learning? What role does a technology like machine learning play in managing the impact of government on the enterprise?

What is Machine Learning?

Let’s start with some definitions. “Artificial intelligence” and “machine learning” are buzzwords often used interchangeably, but they are not the same. Artificial intelligence is the overall science of using computers or machines to solve problems that are usually done by humans with our natural intelligence. Machine learning is a subfield of artificial intelligence. At the most basic level, machine learning recognizes patterns in data, and helps describe the process that generates data used to predict future behavior. Machine learning uses algorithms that iteratively learn from data, allowing computers to find insights without being programmed to do so.

Advantages of Machine Learning

Innovations in artificial intelligence took the technology beyond rule-based systems. Those approaches were limited because they relied solely on human instruction. The advantage of machine learning technology lies in the identification of potentially useful rules that have strong descriptive or predictive power with a robustness and generalization that is very difficult to achieve in rule-based approaches. In other words, machine learning enables the identification of features about data that are important. In addition, machine learning enables technology platforms to become more knowledgeable over time. This means that any investment becomes more valuable as the platform captures additional data and delivers more analytics and predictions on it.

Managing Government Impact

FiscalNote’s Government Relationship Management (GRM) platform uses machine learning to provide vital insights into policy data. Senior leaders in global enterprises require a heads up about legislation, regulation, and any public issues that will impact them, the extent of the impact (financial, operational, reputational), and the best strategies to produce favorable outcomes. FiscalNote’s GRM platform uses machine learning to filter through policy data and automatically alert executives to legislation or regulations that can potentially affect them, including issues they wouldn’t have anticipated, or may have missed due to the quantity of data and speed at which the landscape changes.

From a more strategic perspective, FiscalNote’s GRM platform uses machine learning to help clients build broader networks of policymakers by revealing partisan preferences, voting histories, and propensity for voting in tandem with specific lawmakers. Historically, this type of knowledge was only available through interactions over time – which were inevitably housed in spreadsheets or in personal memories – or by extensive online research. Using machine learning technology, our GRM makes it possible to build analytical pictures of policy makers very efficiently.


Today, machine learning technology is utilized across industries to address myriad challenges that were previously unthinkable. FiscalNote has enabled clients to better address the impact of government on the enterprise by utilizing technologies like machine learning to provide insights from comprehensive public data, to deliver analytics derived from that data, and to develop “smart” alert capabilities for changes in the data. The need to be better equipped to respond to government uncertainty has never been greater. Through its GRM platform with embedded machine learning, FiscalNote is powering the next evolution of the information age.

This is a guest post from FiscalNote. Visit them at ABA TECHSHOW in the EXPO Hall at Booth #905 and learn more about the Conference

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