The Digital Age is driven by data. Whether its marketers tracing your shopping habits, or news sites registering your interests based on the articles you read, your personal data is all over the internet and it’s increasingly valuable.
Data is a commodity because it provides insights into human behaviour and can allow organisations to make better decisions or products, based on these insights.
The right tech in the right place
These data analytics apply to the public sector too. Although in order to be able to generate relevant data within government, the automation of back office and daily functions is critical. While the public sector has plans to digitally transform, this is happening at a more rapid pace than ever as a consequence of the coronavirus pandemic.
Software applications that facilitate processes such as budget reporting and monitoring, submissions claims and performance management while integrating with existing legacy systems such as BAS and PERSAL can provide decision-makers in government with data which improves productivity, financial management, and eventually service to staff and citizens.
Data and digital government
Data and analytics hold great potential for improving the daily functions of government, and not just those tasks that are citizen-facing. According to a recent study by McKinsey, when implemented at scale, data and analytics can offer the public sector $1.2 trillion in value.
Automating government processes allows for the production and collation of critical data, which can help drive better decision-making. For example, software which allows departments to trace payments and invoices produces data which gives decision-makers the ability to see where budget is best used or abused, and how to correctly direct financial resources.
Similarly, software that allows government officials to digitally apply for and submit leave applications allows managers to see in an instant who has maxed out their leave time, while generating data that ensures no one is taking more leave than they should.
This type of application can be rolled out across various government functions, from the compilation and distribution of committee meeting packs, to the issuing of business licences, contract management, and more.
Furthermore, with the arrival of the cloud on South African shores (Microsoft has opened datacentres for Azure in both Johannesburg and Cape Town), critical government data can be secured and compliantly hosted within our borders.
The benefits of improved decision making
When data is generated and shared across departments, government will have access to great insights that can improve daily functions, staff satisfaction and ultimately service delivery.
By providing an overview of government statistics, this information can assist the public sector to reduce costs while improving services on the other hand. It also creates an opportunity to upskill existing officials into the roles of data scientists or analysts within the public sector.
These are just some of the benefits that come with improved insights that are gained from effectively analysing and using data. Of course, this journey must start with the digitisation and automation of government processes, with solutions like those developed by Boxfusion.