Making a Difference Through Real World Research
Activity Based Total Accountability

activity based total accountability

Participate in government accountability research

The Activity Based Total Accountability (ABTA) Institute, in the Nathan M. Bisk College of Business, promotes government accountability and transparency in support of effective decision making, open benchmarking, performance improvement and shared data that is reliable and objective. This is primarily through the ABTA Website offering public and government access to tools, information, processes and methods for identifying the public value of state services.

Help collect and organize Big Data

The ABTA Institute focuses on the use of a national metric, cost per unit, as a basis for measuring activities performed. Open standards and data transparency are areas of research, which are driving an effort to provide the capability to compare across government agencies. The initial research resulted in data collection that lead to over 231,000 ABTA tables developed for all 50 states which show a breakdown of spending for the following departments and categories :

  • Department of Corrections
  • Department of Education
  • Education Sector
  • Fuel & Energy Sector
  • General Government Sector
  • Health Sector
  • Protection Sector
  • Transportation Sector
  • Waste Management Sector
  • Welfare Sector
  • Other Sector (Federal/State Forestry, Parks/Recreations, State Fish/Game, etc.)

Conduct research and present your findings

The ABTA Institute began with funding from the Florida Department of Education and follow-on funding from the U.S. Small Business Administration. The first initiative produced a database and an interface where multiple years of state spending data are displayed in a comparable way between and within state. College of Business students, in the fields of accounting and business administration, were provided an opportunity to conduct research and present their findings under the supervision of business faculty. 

Help faculty generate usability studies

The current effort involves an assessment tool that was created and Web sites evaluated resulting in a government accountability and transparency report card ranking all 50 states. Students gain real-world experience, in conducting usability studies, under the guidance of Dr. Carstens. Training videos on ABTA have also been developed.

Work directly with lead researcher, Dr. Deborah Carstens

Dr. Deborah Carstens serves as primary researcher and Director of the ABTA Institute. Dr. Deborah Carstens is an Associate Professor of Information Systems at Florida Tech and Academic Chair of the Online MBA in Project Management. She holds a Ph.D. in Industrial Engineering from the University of Central Florida and previously worked for NASA Kennedy Space Center (KSC). 

Here are different links related to the ABTA Institute: