Need for Analytics in Government Under the Digital India Program, a flagship program of the Government of India, there is an increased focus on developing IT enabled solutions to improve service delivery. Governments at all levels – Centre, State and local bodies are making significant investments in e-Governance solutions to realize this vision. This shift to digital ecosystem has led to tremendous growth in data related to various aspects of Government functions and services.
As the next logical step, government departments are looking to exploit this mount of gold mine by investing in analytical solutions that can turn this data into insights and promote data-driven decision making. Advanced analytical techniques and tools make this possible and offer new ways in which the data can be mined to generate insights, from retrospective analysis to prospective analysis, helping the decision makers look into the future and plan accordingly. This will help improve quality of service, planning and monitoring, and various other aspects of governance.
It is pertinent to note that deriving value from analytical tools requires not only advanced technical capability to deal with new and complex technologies but more importantly requires trained and experienced data scientists, data modeling and visualization experts. As with any new technology, advanced analytics investments are costly, both in terms of the tools required and the skilled manpower available in the market to take up these projects.Challenges in adopting Data Analytics in Government
Three major challenges which the government departments face include the following:
- The first challenge is in determining which data to use, how to source and/ or get it and finally, how to integrate and prepare it so that appropriate analytics can be performed. This is particularly relevant if a whole-of-government approach is to be applied in analysing the policies of the government.
- The second challenge is analytics itself. Analytics is a highly math intensive, modelling exercise. Getting the right people with the right expertise who knows what mathematical, statistical or machine learning algorithms to use and have the capability to use the appropriate tool is a very big challenge.
- The third and equally important challenge is how to unleash the insights, interpret them correctly and convert them into actions that can truly transform governance.
Thus, deriving valuable insights from data requires not only advanced technical capability to deal with complex and innovative new technologies but more importantly requires trained and experienced data scientists, data modelling and visualization experts. As with any new technology, advanced analytics investments are costlier, both in terms of the tools required and the skilled manpower available in the market to take up these projects.Centre of Excellence for Data Analytics (CEDA), a joint initiative of NIC and NICSI
In view of the above challenges, NIC and NICSI have come forward with the unique idea of setting up a Centre of Excellence for Data Analytics (CEDA) under NICSI with the sole vision of kick-starting and fast-tracking the adoption of advanced analytic and machine learning capabilities within Government. CEDA would be the the locus of expertise in the field of Data Analytics. It will provide quality data analytic services to government departments at all levels as well as to public sector units at the centre as well as in states.