Big data, big outcomes: how analytics can transform public services and improve citizens' lives - EY

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Big data, big outcomes: how analytics can transform public services and improve citizens' lives - EY
Big data, big outcomes:
how analytics can
transform public services
and improve citizens’ lives

Big data, big outcomes: how analytics can transform public services and improve citizens' lives - EY
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4         5              7                   15                21           22
                         2.                  3.
          1.             The potential of    Four steps to
          Ever-growing   data analytics in   unleash a data-
Summary   datasets       public policy       centric culture   Conclusion   Contacts

Big data, big outcomes: how analytics can transform public services and improve citizens' lives - EY
There has never been a better time to capitalize on the
potential of data analytics. We have just begun to scratch
the surface of possible applications. If governments can
unlock this potential, they will make smarter decisions today,
and plan better to meet the changing needs of citizens and
societies in the future.
Oliver Jones
EY Global Business Development, Markets and Insights Leader;
EY-Parthenon Global Government & Public Sector Leader

Big data, big outcomes: how analytics can transform public services and improve citizens' lives - EY
For a decade or more, we have been hearing          and interrelationships that were impossible to       fraud and save lives. Government and public        1. Appoint a visionary leader who can elevate
about a revolution in big data and analytics.       detect. Advanced simulation models can also          sector agencies are investing in more flexible        the importance of analytics across the
The COVID-19 pandemic has brought good              help us better predict future trends.                IT infrastructures, such as application               workforce and give initiatives the best
science and the need for reliable data back                                                              programming interfaces (APIs), to facilitate          chance of success
into the heart of government decision-making.       In the private sector, data is already a source of   interoperability and information sharing. They
Governments around the world are investing          huge competitive advantage. Many established         are improving collaboration through joint target   2. Enthuse and upskill all employees so that
in data as a powerful means of controlling the      companies have been challenged by start-ups          setting and integrated approaches to service          they become more confident at using data
outbreak and helping economies to recover.          that have disrupted their industry by designing      delivery, while actively managing data so that        insights in their everyday roles
                                                    radical new business models. Data-centric            it is fit for analysis. And they are reassuring
Data analytics offers a way to allocate resources   service providers, such as Netflix, Uber and                                                            3. Adopt an agile approach to projects — based
                                                                                                         citizens that their data will be kept safe and
more effectively, optimize operations, reduce       Alibaba, excel at using analytics to improve                                                               on rapid research, testing and prototyping —
                                                                                                         used only for the greater good — as is the case
operating costs and tailor services to the          their operations, target their products and                                                                to learn fast and trial new methods
                                                                                                         with new health apps that track individuals’
specific needs of citizens and communities.         deliver an exceptional customer experience.          location and contacts to prevent future
                                                                                                                                                            4. Work in partnership with businesses,
Perhaps, the most exciting development is that      However, unlike the private sector, governments      COVID-19 outbreaks.
                                                                                                                                                               NGOs, academics and citizens to marshal
big data is transcending boundaries, enabling       have no real competitors to provide the spur for
                                                                                                                                                               and analyze relevant datasets, and find new
collaborative problem-solving on global issues      change. The impetus must come from within.           The most important enabler for governments
                                                                                                                                                               insights and solutions
from pandemics to climate change.                                                                        wanting to unleash the power of data analytics
                                                    That impetus is now gathering force, and the         is to build an organizational culture where the
Our societies are producing and storing more        constraints that held governments back in the        potential of this technology is understood
data than ever before. And the rapid increase       past are being overcome. From Hong Kong              and valued. There are four actions for
in computing power and development of new           to India, the US to Switzerland, pioneering          public-sector bodies wanting to build this
analytical tools mean that datasets can now be      governments are harnessing data analytics            data-centric culture:
combined and manipulated to identify patterns       to safeguard children, reduce crime, combat

Big data, big outcomes: how analytics can transform public services and improve citizens' lives - EY
Ever-growing datasets
In today’s connected world, it is vital for governments
to understand how people’s lives will change in future,
how business models will develop, and how societies and
economies will evolve. If governments can anticipate how
demand for public services is likely to alter, they will be better
positioned to respond to those changes. There is, of course,
no crystal ball, but data and analytics can go a long way to
provide answers.

Big data, big outcomes: how analytics can transform public services and improve citizens' lives - EY
Governments collect and hold more information     and processing devices embedded in them, the                 At the same time, technological innovation             disparate sources and spot previously unseen
than ever before. As citizens and consumers,      internet of things (IoT) is generating a whole               continues to extend the frontiers of what we can       patterns. This not only gives us fresh insights
our use of websites, social media and wearables   new range of data and insights. By 2025, the                 do with such data. The ability to link datasets is     into the present but also enables us to make
provides a wealth of data on everything from      number of IoT devices is expected to reach                   expanding, enhancing the usefulness and value          data-driven predictions about future service
the items we buy to the places we visit. And      75.4 billion. And, over the period 2018–25, the              of individual datasets. And, with improvements         needs and resource requirements.
now that most of the new devices — from           amount of data created is estimated to grow at               in computing power, increasingly sophisticated
aircraft engines to refrigerators, digital        a compound annual growth rate of 28.7%.                      analytics tools and artificial intelligence (AI),
assistants and smart phones — have sensors                                                                     algorithms can now make connections across

  In the digital state — where we increasingly                                                              Annual size of the Global Datasphere
  work and play online — there is more data
  than ever on nearly every aspect of our                                                                                                                                                              175 ZB
  lives and activity. According to an IDC                      180
  study, more than 5b people interact with                     160
  data every day. By 2025, this number will
  be 6b or 75% of the world’s population.
  It is estimated that each connected person                   120

  will have at least one data interaction                      100
  every 18 seconds.                                            80
                                                                     2010    2011      2012      2013      2014     2015      2016      2017      2018      2019   2020   2021   2022    2023     2024    2025

                                                     Source: Data Age 2025, The Digitization of the World from Edge to Core, IDC, sponsored by Seagate, Nov 2018

Big data, big outcomes: how analytics can transform public services and improve citizens' lives - EY
The potential of data
analytics in public policy
In the context of this revolution, leading organizations
in both the private and public sector are recognizing the
central role that data and evidence can play in improving
decision-making, boosting performance and increasing

Big data, big outcomes: how analytics can transform public services and improve citizens' lives - EY
In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the
status of data is arguably higher than ever
before. In seeking to control the spread of the
virus, prevent further outbreaks and find safe
ways to get the economy moving again, good
science and reliable data have been placed
at the heart of government decision-making
across the world. This is hugely welcome.
Governments will need to demonstrate —
and should insist on — strong scientific and
evidential support for policies in the new
normal, not only within the medical sphere but
also with regard to other pressing problems
such as long-term unemployment and climate
change. Indeed, forward-looking businesses and
governments are already using a wide range of
analytic techniques to describe issues, diagnose
causes, predict trends and prescribe solutions.

Big data, big outcomes: how analytics can transform public services and improve citizens' lives - EY
Four types of analytics
                                                                                          Complexity and impact

Key question             Descriptive                            Diagnostic                                    Predictive                                        Prescriptive
                             What                                 Why did it                                  What is likely                                  How can we make
                           happened?                              happen?                                      to happen?                                        it happen?

                  Mines past data to report,       Drills down into historical                 Models trends and plausible change               Complex analytics including AI and
Focus             visualise and understand         data and identifies                         based on data of what has happened               machine learning dedicated to finding
                  what has already happened,       drivers, patterns                           to date and assumptions about what               the best course of action through
                  after the fact or in real-time   and correlations                            might happen in the future                       optimisation models and game theory

                                                   Exploration of cause-effect and            Scenario planning, strategic development          Decision support for case workers in areas such
                  Activity reporting,              interrelationships such as the             and capacity versus demand modeling               as social services and justice; also helps build
Government uses   dashboards, demographic          economic impact on crime levels            (e.g., economic growth projections, rate of       buisiness cases for longer term investments
                  profiling, monitoring            or the relationship of education to        expansion for disease and where it will spread,   (e.g., new infrastructure or investment needed
                  or evaluations                   income and economic growth                 and immigration and population growth)            to create jobs in local economies)

                  Smart cities are monitoring      The US Department of Transportation        Pension funds across the world face similar       The Centers for Disease Control and
                  energy use in real time, and     has embarked on a safety data              challenges: how to ensure that members            Prevention (CDC) analyzes data to
                  analysing and presenting         initiative (SDI), which uses data          will have enough funds to provide for             examine health determinants and
                  this in ways that are readily    integration, analysis and visualisation    themselves in retirement. EY teams has            health outcomes, access to health care,
                  accessible. The data is          to better understand hotspots for          developed a predictive model to understand        health behaviours, and exposure to
Case examples     used strategically to adjust     accidents on roads and rail networks,      how demographic, economic, political and          environmental health hazards relative
                  energy consumption in public     and diagnose related behaviours and        social changes affect financial behaviours        to a number of factors. The analysis
                  buildings at peak time. In the   contextual factors that might have         and pension funds. This insight can help          underscored select intervention
                  city of Boston alone, this is    been a contributing factor. Building       individuals to prepare for their retirement,      activities needed to reduce health
                  estimated to generate savings    on this insight, it is able to identify    allow pension providers to plan strategically     disparities and identified a need for
                  of US$1 million per year.        potential risk areas, and enable more      for the future, and help enable government        greater investment in health care
                                                   rapid and effective interventions.         to develop more effective pension policies.       funding in rural populations.

Big data, big outcomes: how analytics can transform public services and improve citizens' lives - EY
In the public sector, the benefits of such an      datasets to form a more holistic and accurate
approach fall into two broad areas: better         picture of citizens’ needs and specific social       Simulation saves lives
services and outcomes, and improved                issues, driving continuous improvements in
efficiency.                                        service design and delivery.                         Using many years of incident records, an
                                                                                                        EY team constructed a resource
i. Better services and outcomes                    Arguably, predictive and prescriptive analytics      simulation and incident response
                                                   offer the most promising use of big data,            model to help an Asian emergency-
Innovation in data analytics will transform        improving safety across a range of policy            services provider plan ahead. The model
how public services are delivered. As              areas, such as predicting and preventing child       forecasts five years into the future by
consumers, we have all come to expect a high       abuse. For example, in Kenya, the nonprofit          looking at actual incident response
level of personalization from the companies        organization Shining Hope for Communities            performance, combined with geographic
we interact with: Amazon and Netflix suggest       worked with EY to digitize data records, align       and demographic data. It predicts likely
purchasing and viewing options based on            these with health records, and introduce             incident patterns by day, week and month,
past preferences, while supermarkets and           modeling to predict likely incidents, allowing the   and allows forecasts to be broken down
department stores make it easier to shop by        smart allocation of resources. There are many        by incident type — from heart attacks
grouping products according to buying patterns     other applications, from anticipating extreme        to cooking fires. The organization can
— tactics that can increase sales by up to 20%.    weather events to carrying out preventative          use this model to make the best use of
Unsurprisingly, as citizens, we are now starting   maintenance of infrastructure to help avert          ambulances and other equipment, as well
to expect a similarly intelligent and responsive   major accidents.                                     to secure the investment, to help ensure
approach from the public sector.                                                                        that capacity meets future demand.
                                                   Advanced forms of predictive and prescriptive
Governments know this represents an                analytics are also increasingly used to support
important opportunity and are using big data       professional decision-making. This offers unique
and analytics to tailor services to the specific   potential for almost all areas of public services
needs, expectations and preferences of citizens    that involve casework, including social services
and communities, from improving patient            and education; policing and criminal justice; tax
journeys in hospitals, to streamlining tax         collection and fraud and error reduction; town
returns and creating bespoke study programs in     planning and building services; and immigration
higher education. They are integrating different   and integration.

Meanwhile, resource simulations are increasingly
Improving lifetime well-being for            used to make sure that delivery systems and        Tackling climate change with data
vulnerable children                          infrastructure are fit for the future. This is
                                             particularly important for emergency services,     Extreme weather events such as floods,
In New Zealand, EY teams worked with         where it is challenging to match the supply        storms and wildfires have become
Oranga Tamariki (formerly the Ministry       of assets, such as fire stations and specialist    more frequent in the recent years.
of Social Development) to support the        equipment with ever-increasing demand.             Many meteorological institutes openly
transformation of the country’s child                                                           share their data to help track changes
protection system. A predictive model        Perhaps the most exciting development of           in weather and climate. In the US, the
of children’s life courses was developed,    all is that big data transcends geographical,      National Oceanic and Atmospheric
based on evidence of risk factors and        sectoral and organizational boundaries,            Administration, with support from EY,
projecting the outcomes from different       enabling governments, businesses and citizens      has made data more readily accessible
paths. Covering all children aged 16 and     to come together in new ways to tackle the         to external parties, including businesses
under, the model draws on a longitudinal     world’s biggest problems — from climate change     working to reduce the social and economic
research and policy dataset that combines    and natural disasters to social inequality.        impact of weather-related damage.
information from a range of organizations    Today, we have only scratched the surface of
to give the Ministry a comprehensive view    how data-driven analytics can be used to better
of each child and their family situation.    predict the future and inform future policies
The model also identifies avoidable fiscal   and decision-making.
costs associated with poor outcomes,
thereby building a business case for early

ii. Improved efficiency                                          savings, using managed analytics platforms
                                                                 to provide additional information to the key                Streamlining harbor-craft
Faced with ever-growing pressure on public                       decision-makers.                                            operations
funds and rising volume and complexity of
demand, governments are seeking to make                          Analytics techniques can also be deployed to                PSA Marine, a marine services provider,
smart decisions about how to improve                             help optimize operations and reduce operating               wanted to optimize the operation of
financial management and get maximum                             cost. For example, the RECAP e-public service               harbor craft, such as bunker tankers,
benefits from scarce resources.                                  platform, which serves as a monitoring tool                 tugboats and launches in the port of
                                                                 for compliance with Common Agricultural                     Singapore — the world’s busiest container
Data analytics offers a powerful way to                          Policy (CAP) in the European Union, combines                transshipment hub. EY teams helped
manage costs and allocate resources more                         open Earth Observation data (remote satellite               assess the optimal capacity of the port by
effectively. There is a whole spectrum of                        sensing) with the data created by farmers                   analyzing large amounts of untapped data
applications, including optimizing procurement                   using mobile devices. This replaces field                   on vessel size and tidal conditions, and
and budgeting processes; identifying new                         visits and other time-consuming and costly                  creating event simulations. The company
revenue streams; detecting fraud; transforming                   monitoring options.                                         now has an app that uses predictive
internal operations; and improving asset                                                                                     analytics and machine learning to reduce
management. For example, EY teams helped                         On an aggregated level, combining descriptive               delays, boost productivity and save costs.
a European railway company look after its                        and prescriptive analytics can help the overall
infrastructure more effectively by moving from                   prioritization of spending and budgeting. By
a time-based, reactive maintenance program                       mapping existing spend and analyzing impact,
to a system of predictive maintenance and                        it is now possible to get a comprehensive view
renewals. Automation and digital sensors now                     of over- or underspending of budgets and value
detect emerging problems before they become                      for money. For instance, in Estonia, the highest
major. And, in the US, a university that was                     scoring country in the InCiSE Index for digital
facing severe financial pressures worked with                    services1, a digital performance budgeting
EY teams to identify potential procurement                       system tracks monthly spending and
                                                                 progress against policy targets.

   The International Civil Service Effectiveness Index (InCiSE) 2019, Blavatnik School of Government, University of Oxford

Due to budget pressures, it is more important                                                   effective way to predict and prevent fraudulent
than ever to target resources where they are        Building public confidence in               benefit claims too. By analyzing the massive       US reaps billions through
most needed. By combining data from a wide          data analytics and AI                       amount of data created in the health and           improved tax compliance
range of sources, governments can assess                                                        welfare system, the technology can flag
when and where intervention is needed the           TheTrusted EY AI Platform can help          likely fraud before it starts and create an        In the US, the Internal Revenue Service
most. This is not simply about saving money —       build people’s confidence that their data   evidence base for fraud examiners and              (IRS) has established a department
it can directly affect citizens’ health,            is being used ethically. The platform       law enforcement to prosecute cases.                dedicated to advanced analytics. By
well-being and safety.                              evaluates, monitors and quantifies the                                                         its third year of operation, the Office
                                                    impact and trustworthiness of AI by         Finally, sophisticated analytics can increase      of Compliance Analytics had delivered
By improving controls and spotting anomalies        measuring risk factors, including its       the quality of the feedback loop and aid the       more than US$30b worth of improved
in large volumes of data, data analytics can also   underlying technologies, its technical      development of new solutions to complex            tax compliance annually. A wide range
help reduce accounting errors, identify risks       operating environment, and its level        problems. Rather than waiting years to             of methods are used to mine public and
and prevent tax fraud and financial crime. For      of autonomy compared with human             evaluate a government program, monitoring          commercial data, including social media
example, to improve compliance, tax authorities     oversight.                                  and evaluation of policy can become almost         sites such as Twitter, Facebook and
in some countries are using AI models along                                                     instant, provided relevant data is available.      Instagram. The resulting data is combined
with data analytics to predict those at higher                                                  This can become an engine to accelerate the        with IRS’s own proprietary information
risk of not paying their taxes. They’re also                                                    development of agile government and public         and analyzed using pattern-recognition
predicting which of those taxpayers are likely                                                  services, streamlining strategic planning cycles   algorithms that help identify refund
to react positively to certain tax interventions.                                               and ensuring that infrastructure and services      fraud, detect taxpayer identity theft, and
The result is increased revenue collection and                                                  keep one step ahead of demand.                     manage noncompliance issues.
lower tax avoidance. Advanced analytics is an

Data pioneers in the public sector
Preventing crime before it happens                Meeting demand for childcare services             Identifying illegal construction
                                                                                                    waste dumping
Police in Vancouver, British Columbia, are        A government agency in Asia wanted to
cracking down on burglary with a machine-         address the national mismatch of supply           In Hong Kong, a publicly available dataset
learning solution that uses an algorithm to       and demand for childcare and kindergarten         containing more than 9m waste-disposal
deconstruct crime patterns. Through spatial       services. EY teams helped to develop an           records from 2011 to 2017 was used to
analytics, police can predict where residential   analytical model to better understand local       identify truck drivers who were likely to be
break-ins will occur and place patrols            demand. This helped the agency work out           involved in the illegal dumping of construction
accordingly. A pilot reduced burglary by          how many extra childcare centers were             waste. Combining this dataset with other
more than 20% in a month and the approach         needed and where, and plan for the                behavioral and geospatial data, a predictive
is now being made common practice.                long term as the population evolves.              model was developed which flagged potential
                                                                                                    hotspots and identified more than 500 waste-
Saving lives through flood prevention             Helping asylum seekers into work                  hauling trucks suspected of illegal dumping.

After three months of flooding in 2018 left       The Swiss Government piloted a new                Tackling fraud in health services
more than 1,400 dead, India’s Central Water       algorithm which could boost refugee
Commission partnered with Google to create a      employment by up to 30%. Built on big             In the US, federal government agencies have
flood-warning system. The approach uses AI,       data from tracking previous refugees, the         joined forces to tackle waste, fraud and abuse
geospatial mapping and water data to generate     tool analyzes asylum seekers’ personal            in the US$1t spend on Medicare and other
alerts so that agencies can take preemptive       characteristics, such as gender, age and          health and human-service programs. Using
action. The first alert was issued in September   nationality, to recommend the region              data analytics, the team has helped uncover
2018, warning residents of Patna about heavy      where they are most likely to find work.          US$1b in fraud in one year alone and brought
rain and likely flooding. This saved thousands    The algorithm was designed to help officials to   to justice thousands of practitioners for
of lives and helped reduce financial costs.       resettle individuals in the canton that best      malpractice.
                                                  fits their profile.

Four actions to unleash
a data-centric culture
The case for putting data at the center of government
decision-making is strong, and the potential benefits are
almost unlimited. However, governments and public sector
agencies must first tackle some challenges to unleash the
power of data analytics.

Three issues are often raised as challenges to           The most important enabler for governments         However, there are pioneers that are daring        analytics officer, Vipin Gopal, is building on the
better use of data: siloed information systems,          wanting to unleash the power of data analytics     to do things differently. Specialist skills and    firm’s research- and statistics-oriented culture
data quality issues, and public trust. These             is to build an organizational culture where the    pockets of excellence exist in statistical         to engage employees with advanced analytics
are not insurmountable. Around the world, we             potential of this technology is understood and     offices, intelligence agencies, innovations labs   and AI. The average time taken to get a new
are seeing examples of government agencies               valued. This need for a new mindset is shared      and other experimental policy and practice         medicine from initial discovery to commercial
investing in more flexible IT infrastructures            by the private sector, where many established      development bodies. New digital training           launch has been cut by more than two years.
to facilitate interoperability and information           companies have been challenged by start-           academies and exchange programs between
sharing between agencies, while taking steps to          ups that have designed radical new business        the public and private sector are springing up:    Visionary leaders have proved to be just as
improve the quality, richness and relevance of           models and, in doing so, have disrupted their      Singapore is training 10,000 public servants in    important in catalyzing change in the public
the available data so that it is fit for analysis. And   industry. However, since governments have          data science, while in Australia, Data61 — the     sector. In the early 1990s, the work of New
they are working to build trust among citizens by        no real competitors to provide the stimulation     data and digital specialist arm of Australia’s     York City’s Police Department was transformed
creating appropriate data governance policies            for change, the motivation needs to come           national science agency — is building an           by Police Commissioner William Bratton, who
and protocols.                                           from within.                                       ecosystem of data talent through the               created Compstat, the short for computer
                                                                                                            placement of public sector employees               comparison statistics, to improve crime data,
However, the most important enabler for                  There is another key difference: the public        in the private sector, to mutual benefit.          communication and accountability — a model
governments wanting to unleash the power                 sector does not usually have the luxury to                                                            which is now used by police forces and city
of data analytics is to build an organizational          support innovation with the trial-and-error and    EY teams have worked with many governments         governments around the world. During her
culture where the potential of this technology           ‘fail fast’ techniques used within industry and    and agencies that are successfully transforming    time at Network Rail, which runs Britain’s
is understood and valued. This need for a                commerce. Critical areas, such as health care      their approach, and have identified four actions   rail infrastructure, Caroline Carruthers built
new mindset is shared by the private sector,             or social services, cannot afford to experiment,   to building a more data-centric organizational     a case for better information governance
where many established companies have been               simply because the costs of getting it wrong —     culture and mindset.                               and was appointed the organization’s first
challenged by start-ups that have designed               including failures in service delivery — are not                                                      chief data officer. In order to reduce risk and
radical new business models and, in doing so,            acceptable. As such, there is a lack of evidence   1. Lead from the top                               boost efficiency across the organization, she
have disrupted their industry. However, since            for governments to draw on regarding how to                                                           established a small core team operating in a
governments have no real competitors to provide          build an entrepreneurial public-service culture.   In the private sector, the most successful         federated manner with a larger matrix team
the stimulation for change, the motivation needs                                                            leaders are those who have recognized the          encompassing information security, data
to come from within.                                                                                        power of data to create competitive advantage      protection, freedom of information, records
                                                                                                            and improve products and services. For             management and business intelligence.
                                                                                                            example, Eli Lilly and Company’s chief data and    Meanwhile, at the UK Government’s tax

authority, HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC),            frameworks, ideally reporting directly to the
                                                    the former Chief Data Officer Kevin Fletcher         head of the organization (chief executive; city     Like other smart cities, Boston has used
Direction and vision                                suggested that data is key to improving service      mayor). These analytics leaders must act as         big data and analytics to transform all
                                                    delivery in an ethical, unbiased and trusted way,    evangelists for data-driven decision-making,        aspects of how the city is managed, from
from senior management                              and unlocking productivity and innovation.           taking inspiration from different fields to solve   filling potholes in roads to health care
is seen as the most                                 These examples show the power of having
                                                                                                         public-sector challenges (e.g., borrowing           and urban green spaces. A centralized
                                                                                                                                                             Citywide Analytics Team has been in
                                                                                                         ideas from physical sciences about early
important factor in                                 leaders who are passionate about the value           warning systems). Listening is important too.       place since 2015, with a mandate to

supporting innovation                               of data. In the public sector, such leaders —
                                                    both political and organizational — elevate the
                                                                                                         Talking to a range of staff — from functional
                                                                                                         leaders to front line employees — is critical to
                                                                                                                                                             equip decision-makers with information
                                                                                                                                                             on city performance. A single dashboard,
most effectively in an                              importance of analytics across the workforce         understanding operational challenges, citizen       CityScore, covers 22 metrics and is
                                                    and give initiatives the best chance of success.                                                         updated daily, giving leaders the ability to
organization.                                       Recognizing this, some governments have gone
                                                                                                         concerns and service issues that could be
                                                                                                         addressed through better use of data.               intervene before issues escalate
                                                    so far as to legislate for analytics, passing new
Source: “ Innovation in public finance,” ACCA,     laws or writing it into their charters. The US,      Most analytics leaders create a team around
        September 2019                              for example, passed the Evidence Act3 in 2019,       them to help achieve their mission. In some
                                                    requiring agencies to appoint chief data officers    cases, the team operates as a centralized
                                                    and develop multi-year learning agendas and          unit, where analysts work on specific projects
                                                    evaluation plans. It also required the agencies to   across the organization. Others have adopted
                                                    ensure that they collect, share and use evidence     a decentralized approach, with analytics
                                                    in budget, policy and management decisions.          teams integrated into, or co-located with,
                                                                                                         specific departments. Whichever approach is
                                                    A dedicated executive, such as a chief data          taken, analytics teams must have a thorough
                                                    or analytics officer, or a chief data scientist,     understanding of the organization and its
                                                    should be appointed to lead the analytics            key policy areas. Some organizations rotate
                                                    program across the organization. This individual     analytics staff across departments to broaden
                                                    will develop data strategy and governance            their experience. Others create analytics

 Foundations for Evidence-based Policymaking Act.

SWAT teams that work closely with individual                     professions, to build capability and support                  conducted by EY and Forbes showed that a lack        broader change-management programs, such
units to embed analytical knowledge across                       career progression5. Recruitment and staff-                   of analytics skillsets is a bigger issue for the     training helps to increase employees’ comfort
the organization.                                                management practices must also change —                       government sector than it is for other industries    in using data insights in their everyday roles,
                                                                 both to bring in digital professionals and to                 (50% versus 40%)6. To address this, new skills       particularly those who have traditionally relied
Analytics teams must encompass a broad                           equip them to work in the unique environment                  will need to permeate the entire organization.       on their own professional judgment or intuition
range of skills: information technology skills                   of public services. And there needs to be a                                                                        in making decisions. Any skepticism can be
to develop the systems for collating and                         greater focus on attracting staff with experience             Many governments have started to introduce           overcome by emphasizing how augmented
interrogating the data; statistical and analytical               in systems design, agile methodologies, and                   data-literacy training to encourage a broader        decision support can aid and enhance, rather
skills to develop the algorithms and models                      data science.                                                 culture change. For example, the Nepalese            than replace, their decision-making. In complex
that create insights; and soft skills, such as                                                                                 Government’s Data Literacy Program is                and sensitive cases, such as support for
communication, creativity, curiosity                             2. Enthuse and upskill the workforce                          designed to drive stronger data-driven               vulnerable individuals, it is still essential to
and problem solving. As analytics teams                                                                                        decision-making through targeted workshops.          combine the analytical power of the machine
come to understand the context behind user                       A successful data and analytics program                       The program comprises of a 100-hour modular,         with the context and understanding of a human
requests, they can start to move from a                          requires the whole workforce to see the                       customizable training program to support             caseworker who can make a final judgment.
position of unquestioningly providing whatever                   virtues of the approach and embrace                           both technical skill-building and efforts to
they are asked for, to one where requests are                    new ways of working. This starts with a well-                 enhance a ‘culture of data use’ among                Government organizations can be
anticipated, and to an extent shaped, by the                     thought-out strategy spelling out the scope,                  Nepalese civil servants.                             bureaucratic and hierarchical. So, it’s important
analytics team4.                                                 purpose, implementation plan and potential                                                                         for supervisors to allow staff the time to
                                                                 benefits, which should be communicated to                     This kind of training fosters curiosity in looking   engage on data-focused projects and develop
Organizations that are establishing data                         all employees.                                                at data and improves employees’ ability to ask       their problem-solving capabilities. This can be
analytics teams for the first time must develop                                                                                the right questions: how can existing data be        done by incentivizing or mandating personnel
a defined career path for this new breed of                      As data becomes more and more democratized,                   used to optimize outcomes? What combination          to connect with the data analytics team, for
professionals. The Australian Public Service,                    the responsibility for turning it into valuable               of data or new data is needed to further             instance, through reward and recognition
for example, as part of its reform agenda,                       insights no longer rests solely on the shoulders              improve public value for citizens? It also helps     programs or data-sharing champions. In
announced plans to establish digital and data                    of data-science professionals. However, a study               people to interpret results or insights. Alongside   Singapore, for example, every new government

    Untapped potential: investing in health and care data analytics, The Health Foundation, May 2019
    Australian Government, Delivering for Australians — a world-class Australian Public Service: the Government’s APS reform agenda, 2019
    Data & Advanced Analytics — High Stakes, High Rewards, EY and Forbes Insights, 2017

employee is allocated to a work-improvement       Other governments are cultivating an                Agile project management — based on rapid
team and helps to address two or three complex    experimental culture through new structures,        research, testing and prototyping — allows          Collaborating to tackle social
operational problems each year. By promoting      such as incubators and accelerators, and using      organizations to drive improvements through         challenges in London
this kind of innovation program, governments      internal hackathons or skunkworks where small,      an iterative test-and-learn approach. In
also have a better chance of attracting top       loosely structured groups work on radical           designing and executing a data analytics            The London Ventures (LV) program is a
talent to fuel further transformation.            new projects. For example, as part of its           program, there must be a willingness to adapt       unique collaboration between London
                                                  Smarter Data Program for 2014-2018,                 in response to changing needs or unexpected         Councils (the umbrella body for the city’s
3. Become a learning organization                 the Australian Tax Office (ATO) established         challenges. Piloting analytics on a relatively      33 local authorities) and EY. LV sources
                                                  a sandpit known as the Research and                 small scale, for instance in one service area       and incubates innovative solutions to
To capitalize on data analytics, governments      Development (RAD) Lab. The RAD Lab conducts         or geographic location, is a cost-effective and     deep-rooted social challenges. In one
need to find ways to embrace innovation and       agile testing of new technology, architecture,      flexible way to try new things out. The EY          London borough, for example, sharing
experimentation, while of course managing         data, and analytical methods and processes          Data Office Framework starts with defining          data and developing advanced and
any possible risks to service delivery. They      to establish proof-of-concept before they are       valuable and actionable use cases as a first step   predictive analytics helped identify
should develop a culture where risk taking is     deployed at scale. Its showcases have helped        toward building the right capabilities, scalable    1,700 new families that were eligible for
accepted and mistakes are viewed as part of a     build analytic credibility with ATO executives.     architecture and establishment of a data            additional support before they reached
learning journey.                                                                                     ecosystem.                                          crisis point, to help ensure earlier, more
                                                  Public sector funding is tight, and budgets are                                                         cost-effective interventions.
For example, in Canada, in 2015, the Prime        constrained. Many analytics programs therefore      Pilots can yield important insights and help
Minister instructed all the ministers to work     start by exploring what data they have and how      provide proof-of-concept to secure buy-in from
with colleagues to ensure that they devote a      to make the best use of it. A business case is      senior stakeholders. The results provide a more
fixed percentage of their time to trialing new    developed to put a value on the opportunity         realistic picture of the potential benefits of
approaches and measuring the impact. This         and potential benefits, and funding is then         rolling out to the wider organization. Moreover,
learning-by-doing approach, Experimentation       earmarked for innovation and experimentation,       identifying and fixing issues during the pilot
Works, has been successful in matching            while accepting that some initiatives might fail.   may reduce the risk of failure.
experts with project teams wishing to innovate.

4. Harness the wider ecosystem                                      Copenhagen municipal government, for                   Kong’s Smart Government Innovation Lab
                                                                    example, has launched the world’s first                (Smart LAB) allows start-ups and SMEs to pitch
Data is a critical resource in tackling complex                     marketplace for city data called the City Data         new technologies, including data analytics,
challenges that cut across different policy                         Exchange (CDE). CDE is a collaborative project         that can help improve public services.
areas. Yet, much of the time, vulnerable                            between the city, Capital Region of Denmark,           A dedicated website allows agencies to
populations are not getting the interventions                       and Hitachi. The platform allows for the sale,         post challenges and helps businesses and
they need because crucial data is scattered                         purchase and sharing of a wide variety of              entrepreneurs to pitch their ideas. Governments
across different sectors including businesses,                      data from multiple sources among all types of          are also exploring pro-bono and low-cost
NGOs, nonprofits, academia and citizens.                            users in a city — citizens, city government and        collaborative partnerships with private sector,
Governments cannot tackle these problems                            business — to tackle urban challenges. The data        nonprofit and academic organizations. For
alone; they must explore ways to work in                            offers information on things such as traffic           instance, the New York Mayor’s Office for
partnership with other organizations. Once they                     patterns and citizens’ energy consumption,             Data Analytics (MODA), which aggregates
have the ability to analyze and cross-reference                     which companies can use to develop solutions           and analyzes data from across its agencies,
data across the whole ecosystem, governments                        to create smarter cities. The Government is            cooperates with Columbia University and New
can unlock deeper insights and new solutions.                       using insights from the CDE to shape new               York University to develop data standards8.
In tackling homelessness in cities, for example,                    policies. Another leader in the field is Nesta’s
they can pull together data on risk factors such                    program of Offices of Data Analytics in the            Meanwhile, Washington D.C.’s Office of the
as poverty, unemployment, physical and mental                       UK, which helps cities and regions to join             Chief Technology Officer (OCTO) has
health, substance abuse, family relationships,                      up, analyze and act upon data from multiple            established an Interagency Data Team, led by
and affordable housing. Predictive analytics                        sources to improve public services7.                   the Chief Data Officer, as a community of data
models can then be developed to identify those                                                                             analysts and representatives from D.C. agencies
most at risk and take steps to protect them.                        In sharing their own data, government entities         to discuss issues of collection, application,
                                                                    enable external parties with a different               sharing, classification and governance.
There are many different mechanisms that                            perspective — such as entrepreneurs, academics         Another example is EY CogniStreamer, an
can help to support the creation of such                            and researchers — to produce valuable insights         online platform that enables communities to
collaboration and generate innovative                               that can inform governmental policies,                 collaborate in the process of innovation.
approaches to social challenges. The                                programs and services. For example, Hong

    Dynamics of Data Science Skills — how can all sectors benefit from data science talent?, The Royal Society, May 2019
    As referenced in Hello, World: Artificial Intelligence and its use in the public sector, OECD 2019
             In today’s hyper-connected and fast-changing       offer the greater transparency and openness          Taking the time to capture and publicize such
             world, traditional solutions simply won’t work.    their citizens deserve. Governments can do this      results can help to win the hearts and minds of
             Powerful drivers — technological advances,         not only by investing in internal and external       political leaders, peers, frontline workers and
             urbanization, demographic shifts, global health    capabilities but by redesigning formal policy        citizens. Those governments that are ahead of
             pandemics, geopolitical and environmental          decision-making processes so that they require       the curve can inspire others’ efforts and start to
             threats — are permanently reshaping the            the inclusion of robust data.                        build an understanding and appreciation among
             landscape for governments. As such,                                                                     the wider society about the benefits of using
             public bodies need not only to rethink the         As more and more public bodies venture into          these new techniques.
             way they deliver services today but plan           data analytics, it is vital that they quantify the
             better for tomorrow.                               results of particular programs and share that        Now is the moment to start exploring what
                                                                success within the government community to           big data and analytics can really do for the
             Investment in analytics is not an optional extra   build momentum for change. While it is not           public good.
             that may add value at the margins; it is a core    yet common practice, some organizations are
             tool for governments to tackle deep-rooted,        beginning to do this. For example, in the US, the
             intractable problems in a cost-effective way.      city of Boston has announced that it is saving
             This power can only grow as technologies           US$5m a year and eliminating 20,000 pounds of
             such as AI and intelligent automation develop.     carbon emissions with an algorithm to optimize
                                                                bus routing. Also, the US Postal Service and the
             World-class governments should now act to lock     Office of Inspector General revealed that they
             in the enhanced position of data and science in    have used analytics to recover US$920m that
             the decision-making process that has emerged       was lost through waste, fraud and abuse.
             during the COVID-19 crisis, and continue to


Oliver Jones                               Amanda Evans
EY Global Business Development, Markets    EY Oceania Government and Health Sciences
and Insights Leader; EY-Parthenon Global   Sector Leader, Strategy and Transactions
Government & Public Sector Leader

Julie McQueen                              Thomas Bradtke
EY Global Government and Infrastructure    EY EMEIA Government and Public Sector Strategy Leader
Lead Analyst, EY Knowledge                 and EY-Parthenon Saudi Arabia Strategy Leader

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