Big data and local government

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thadingham's picture
Last seen: 5 years 9 months ago
Joined: 2011-06-03 10:47
Big data and local government

I saw this article in last week's Economist - Building with big data - its basically a review of a McKinsey Global Institute report that makes the claim that big data is the "the next frontier for innovation, competition and productivity".  The report is focussed on the private sector but it got me thinking about local government and how it uses the data that it collects.  My impression is that local government collects data mostly for compliance purposes and it got me wondering whether or not there were any municipalities making use of this data for other purposes such as improving their development planning activities, or enhancing service delivery. 

I know that Breede Valley is using their GIS system loaded with property and service use data to identify areas where they should be collecting revenue but are not.  Are there any other examples of innovative uses of data for non-compliance purposes?

Nino's picture
Last seen: 3 years 9 months ago
Joined: 2011-06-01 20:29
Re: Big data and local government


At Theewateskloof Municipality we thrive on collected data. It is even tracked and revised. Each division, but not all divisions, have their own usage for such data.

In the ICT division, I am one of those people who thrive on building strategies. We make use of Manage Services that has a huge array of features, but it also collects data and stores it. So, I reference back to this data whenever I compile a strategy, draft my budget.

Historical data can be a vital business tool, especially in IT. It allows me to strategise in terms of our Past, Present and Future and such data can is also a great reference point.

HOWEVER.... scattered data is very dificult to use in strategies and can actually create more loopholes, hence the reason that we use Manage Services to filter the data and create more useful structures.

So, apart from just compliance, I am fortunate that users learnt that data is the municipality's biggest and most valuable asset.


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