How government can turn big data into big value

SNP Australia Pty Ltd

By Brent Paterson, Managing Director, ANZ, SNP
Monday, 13 June, 2022


How government can turn big data into big value

To keep pace with changing organisational needs and working environments, government departments are increasingly prioritising digital transformation. However, digital transformation has become so common that many departments are upgrading or adopting new technologies and processes without having a clear understanding of the real value it delivers. Failing to understand this can lead to gaps in processes and missed opportunities to maximise on the value of digital transformation.

The key to the success of any digital transformation project lies in the data. Government departments can go beyond technology upgrades and transform their entire operating model with the right data. However, turning data into value requires government departments to have the right underlying technology in place to extract insights from that data.

Elevating government departments with data-driven technologies

By taking the path of least resistance or choosing solutions purely based on cost, government departments can miss out on the potentially revolutionary capabilities that would let them turn data into value quickly and relatively easily. Comparatively, departments that have a good understanding of how data-driven technologies can help them to achieve greater insights can ultimately deliver more streamlined processes and results by instead deploying solutions that can more seamlessly integrate into the technology stack and deliver the processes and tools they need, as well as delivering on budget.

For example, government departments can gain significant value from SAP S/4HANA’s data analytics capabilities. However, it’s essential to set the expectations clearly and upfront in the project to get the most out of the move. While this can determine the type of implementation the department chooses and, in turn, affect costs, it will also dramatically affect the return on investment that the department achieves as a result of the implementation. As such, it’s essential to spend time on due diligence before setting a migration plan in play.

Four ways government departments can maximise the value of data

To gain maximum value from transformational projects, government departments must understand what measurable results they want to see from the initiative. This helps to determine what kind of data and analytics should be used. To achieve this, departments must start with the end in mind or risk a failed project. And, above all, it’s essential to focus on maximising the department’s ability to extract value from data.

This can be achieved in four ways:

1. Data storage strategies

Data storage strategies must include ways to easily access and work with that data. Corporate data lakes provide one way to aggregate data from various systems to deliver a more comprehensive, overarching view of data that can help drive data-driven operations and decisions. Examples include predictive analytics that let businesses make smarter decisions, faster, as well as Internet of Things (IoT) applications.

2. Data archiving and decommissioning of legacy systems

Data has a shelf life and there comes a time when it needs to be archived. Legacy systems may need to be decommissioned, especially in the case of a merger or acquisition or a system upgrade or transformation. Data can’t simply be deleted; it usually needs to be retained for a set period under legislation. Therefore, government departments need to ensure they’re moving outdated data to a data lake. This way, the department can still access and manage that data without incurring high costs associated with keeping legacy systems running.

3. Data security and privacy

Digital transformation projects can open up data to the risk of being lost or hacked. It’s essential to put data protection measures in place to safeguard data during the transformation process. Data migrations can create considerable costs and risks, especially in the context of a department merger. Data handovers and migrations must be managed properly to avoid data privacy issues.

4. End-to-end data lifecycle management

As government departments work with different types of data across the entire departmental ecosystem, the vast volume of data can quickly spiral out of control. This can lead to risks in terms of data privacy, access and governance. It’s essential to manage the end-to-end data lifecycle with a solution that covers archiving, management and decommissioning of data to maintain compliance and maximise the value of the data that is used to drive decision-making.

By automating data migration and management processes, government departments can reduce risk and make data more accessible for decision-making and transformation projects. However, departments need to understand how to use data for analytics using innovative data science applications such as machine learning and artificial intelligence to maximise the value of data.

Managing data effectively takes a clear strategic approach and the right technology. Applying automation where possible can help minimise the burden on government departments while they leverage data for greater value. It’s important to choose a solution that reduces complexity along with a provider that is an expert in managing data transformation projects that help government departments reach their ideal outcomes.

Image credit: ©stock.adobe.com/au/momius

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