Big data, a term many organisations are familiar with, but few understand.
Insights derived from data add value to decision-making, particularly within the public sector. Whilst many organisations understand the importance of data management, few are struggling to effectively capture, store and process it to its full potential.
So, what are the 5 V’s of Big Data and how can they best be applied within the public sector?
The 5 V’s of Big Data
Velocity – Velocity refers to the speed at which data is generated, collected and analyzed. Data is continuously generated from multiple sources such as computer systems, networks, social media, mobile phones etc.
Volume – Big data volume defines the ‘amount’ of data that is produced. Today data is generated in different formats – structured and unstructured. Some of these data formats include word and excel documents, PDFs and reports along with media content such as images and videos.
Value – Although data is being produced in large volumes, just collecting it is of no use. Instead, data from which business insights are garnered add ‘value’ to the company.
Variety – While the volume and velocity of data are important factors that add value to a business, big data also entails processing diverse data types collected from varied data sources.
Validity – The validity or big data is the assurance of quality or credibility of the collected data.
How Can the Public Sector Harness Big Data?
The public sector generates and collects vast quantities of data through everyday activities, such as tax collection, recording trafﬁc data, managing pensions, national health systems and issuing ofﬁcial documents.
The potential for governments to utalise data to inform better decision making is vast. Through standardisation and the development of technologies, the public sector could benefit from safe and effective data management to reduce public spending and improve output. Some potential benefits of harnessing big data within the public sector are:
- Improved transparency: Open government and data sharing from organisations to citizens promotes greater trust
- Citizen insight: Information from both traditional and new social media (websites, blogs, twitter feeds, etc.) can help policy makers to prioritise services and be aware of citizens’ interests and opinions
- Economic analysis: Correlation of multiple sources of data can help government economists with more accurate ﬁnancial forecasts
- Tax insight: Technologies that analyse large datasets of structured and unstructured data from a variety of sources could help validate information or ﬂag potential frauds.
If you’re looking for advice and guidance on how to best harness data within the public sector get in touch. Our team of experts can help you develop technologies and processes that enable effective exploitation of information for both operational advantage and business transformation.