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In the world of digital technology, big data is changing the way information is collected, organized, processed and stored. These changes have presented some great opportunities for economic growth, productivity, innovation, and other aspects of government policy making.
Big data has also seen a recent growth in governance. The government is gradually embracing big data, especially when it comes to healthcare delivery, education, security and other aspects of policy making.
However, there are certain aspects that affect the use of Big Data in policy making:
1. Public’s point of view
It is important to care about people’s point of view on data gathering. Individuals indulge in various activities on a daily basis. These activities include using the internet, social media, credit cards and others. All these activities provide opportunities for the government to gather valuable information and use them to the advantage of the public. But, the gathering of personal information should also include public awareness and acceptance.
2. The ownership of the data
3. The potential outcomes of data-driven policy making
When it comes to policy making, the major focus of the government should be towards the benefits for the society. However, their policies are going to be beneficial only when they have correct information available. Big data surely presents a broader map to work on. But the correctness of the data is also important.
Otherwise, the outcomes are not going to be as beneficial as predicted. So, the goal should not just be shifting towards big data. The government needs to strategize effective ways to aggregate correct and high-quality data.
Opportunities around Big data in government policy making
Governments, all over the world, have already started moving towards Big data collection and analysis. The policy making will have some great opportunities in the future with the effective use of Big data analytics.
1. An efficient government
By shifting towards big data in policy making, a government can make quick decisions without compromising the quality of those decisions. This will reduce the time frame that is traditionally required to create, assess and implement a policy. Governments can offer beneficial policies when the public needs it the most.
2. Citizen-centric policy making
As mentioned earlier, Big data gives a broader perspective to the government. The collected information can inform about the people, their current lives, their needs and the gaps in the services and demands. All these factors become a great help when it comes to impressing every citizen with effective policies. The data can be collected from different sectors such as healthcare, finance, education, security, and others. The government can analyze those details faster with advanced Big data analytics and leverage the conclusions to deliver more beneficial policies for the society.
3. Better growth of economy
The strength of the businesses under a government depends widely on the policies government apply. For better policy making, a government requires more in-depth information from every sector, which becomes possible with Big data. Analyzing gathered data can improve the business policies and allow governments to boost their economy faster and in a sustainable manner.
Factors that are driving policy making towards Big data
Here are all the factors that are driving policy making process towards Big data:
1. Speed in data collection
The availability of advanced algorithms and modern hardware present better opportunities for information collection and analytics. The emergence of web scraping services has also made it possible to easily extract data from the web at scale. The traditional methods can’t cope with the speed that Big data processes offer. And that is what drives both society and government policy making towards Big data.
2. Diversity of the collected data
Another valuable reason to use Big data is the variety of information a government can gather. There are two aspects of diversity that Big data offers. One is definitely the broader information of different sectors. Along with that, it also presents the capacity to obtain data in different formats such as text, audio or video. This way, the value of the data increases to a great extent, and analysis becomes much easier.
3. Volume of the data
As is obvious from the term Big Data, the true power of big data lies in the huge amount of data that’s readily available to be incorporated into different processes. Speed and diversity allow the algorithms to collect a large volume of data in an organized manner. The data is stored in modern systems, which makes data sorting and assessment much easier. So, the governments don’t just collect a huge volume of data, but process it efficiently in an organized manner. As a result, Big data delivers much-needed security, access and systematic process to the policy making.
4. Quality of the gathered data
Big data allows the integration of various digital resources in data collection where the actual quality information lies these days. A government can gather information from the internet, social media and other digital platforms and include in their policy making process. With that, the data attains completeness, accuracy and other valuable attributes. And that saves government from missing critical factors while making their policies.
Potential benefits of Big data in government policy making
The advanced properties of Big Data are going to present some empowering benefits to the government policy making. Here are a few benefits expected with the inclusion of Big data in policy making:
1. Answering important questions in a better way
Managing policy making with better quality data from different sectors, a government can answer all the valuable questions that decide the success of any policy:
- What does the public want?
- What does the economy lack?
- Which sector requires immediate modifications?
Having answers to these and many other important questions will be possible with Big Data. And that will improve the abilities of the government to make right policies, for the right sectors and implement at the right time.
2. Creating a centralized data system
Big data will allow government bodies to create a centralized system of all the collected data. This way, the security and accessibility of the data will get improved to a great extent. The centralized system of information will provide much-needed organized behavior in policy making.
3. Validating data before taking actions
A government can validate all their data faster with Big data, which is the key to designing better policies. The credibility assurance of the available data will help in making informed decisions at every step of policy making. Big data analytics makes cleaning, sorting, assessment and other processes easier with the advanced technologies. So, the authorities are just required to leverage modern technologies in order to successfully validate the information and take actions.
4. Becoming confident about the policies
The validation of the data leads to the accuracy of the data. The authorities attain confidence in terms of data completeness, credibility, and consistency. This directly affects the outcomes of decision making.
The incorporation of big data will enable government to become confident about the decisions they make. The reduced risks will make it easier to implement policies without worrying about potential issues.
5. Empowering all sectors with policy implementation
The digital growth in modern environment is visible in all sectors. Individuals, businesses, and organizations, all are moving towards Big data. So, by using the same technologies and methodologies in policy making, government can empower all sectors with their decisions. Effective data will become achievable with the integration of Big data in policy making. And that will enhance the ability of government to cover all the different sectors in their policies.
6. Creating a data-driven governance
The future of policy making lies in Big data. People desire security, better leadership, and efficient lifestyle, and it all depends on the efficiency of the government. Big data will offer that efficiency to the government, which will create a culture of data-driven governance. As a result, the policies will offer better success rates, acceptance and outcomes whenever applied.
The line between government policy making and Big data has already started becoming seamless. The application is occurring on a global scale and governments are understanding and incorporating the valuable methodologies of Big data. And that is what presents positive signs about the future of policy making.
The governments definitely need to face some challenges in order to implement big data technologies in policy making. The acceptance of the public and other challenges are going to be the biggest challenges. But the continuous shift of the world towards digital technologies presents bright opportunities. It is important to understand those opportunities and act accordingly. Only then, a government can attain valuable benefits and enhance the success rate of their policies.