It’s no secret that the amount of data available to organisations is increasing all the time. And nowhere is this truer than the public sector. It collects data from a myriad of sources from the length and breadth of the UK, providing it with a huge wealth of information on how the country operates, and how we, as taxpayers, interact with the government.
Couple this with the rise of cloud computing, which has not only exponentially increased the amount of data in circulation, but also given that data is a far great currency by making it easier to collect, share, analyze and interpret. With so many devices, systems and services connected via the cloud, data now permeates through the public sector and business leaders need to become wise to the insights and value they can derive from it.
When used smartly, this wealth of information has changed how organisations operate at a fundamental level. Data is driving breakthroughs, solving problems and inspiring change in the way public sector businesses operate. There is no organisation or service that cannot gain an edge by understanding more about the data it creates and the data it can acquire, and ultimately use it to deliver greater value to the tax payer.
The public sector have turned to analytics to not only understand how they can streamline their existing operations, but also how they can provide new and innovative services to the taxpayer. A great example of this is the Imperial College NHS Trust, which is working to digitise its entire service. This allows it to seamlessly move data between different applications; for example if a child is admitted to A&E the Trust can receive information from the local child protection authority to check if the patient is on the child protection register. On top of this the Trust is also in the process of installing sensors on its beds to monitor the condition of patients and ultimately allow nurses to work more efficiently.
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In short, data has become one the most critical assets the public sector has. It offers the opportunity to drive forward the sector, operate in a more a seamless and efficient sector, and provide tax payers with a service that is exemplary.
But every success story about how data is transforming an organisation is a triumph not only of data, but of the people and machines who turn it into valuable insights. Data is powering innovation at the point where human ingenuity meets modern technology. It is the balance of these three forces that will distinguish the data-driven organisations shaping our world. If the public sector can continue to embrace this then we should be excited about the opportunities it will be able to offer the tax payer in the future.
Stuart Provan is Head of Public Sector at Oracle