With the advent of open data and new, powerful methods for analyzing it, we're learning a lot that could challenge longstanding beliefs on public policy. Politicians, social workers and other civil servants have always had data, of course; they just never had as much and could never do with it what they can today. They should listen to what the computers tell them.
If only there was more enlightenment and less money-driven politics in Washington! Facts are, however, far too (to quote the inventor of the internet)... inconvenient. :p