Good governance is an ideal that many societies around the world want to promote and implement for their people. To make this possible, public institutions are typically encouraged and empowered to handle matters of public affairs in the most honest and most efficient manner possible, as well as to ensure that resources are governed competently and distributed equitably for the good of all.
To this end, many governments that preside over modern and innovative economies employ numerous technological solutions to ensure that the needs of the people they serve are met on a consistent basis. And in today’s information-driven world, many of these technologies are anchored in the proper and efficient use of data—particularly big data—which public sector organizations and their partner private entities produce every day.
These large or voluminous sets of data can come from various sources, including daily transactions, mobile and social activities, artificial intelligence applications, and Internet of Things (IoT)—all of which can add to the complexity and intricacy of analyzing data. As such, public sector organizations typically rely on solutions like data integration and analytics software to make sure that they can move and handle large volumes of data while achieving real-time data analysis that can prove to be very useful for a great number of things.
What are the typical government sectors in which big data analytics is finding increasing usefulness these days? Read on to learn more.
Energy and Water Resource Management
Improving the lives of people in urban environments is a pressing global need as an ever-increasing proportion of the human population migrates to cities each year, and the threat of climate change continues to grow unabated. Novel tools like artificial intelligence solutions integrated with information technology (IT) and operational technology (OT) systems can be used to ensure that our current and future energy and water infrastructure will be able to meet these challenges head on. A smart grid, for example, can take advantage of data generated by smart sensors and meters, renewable energy technologies, and digital communications technologies to help energy providers efficiently manage the supply of electricity to users. Smart grids and smart water network have already been deployed in many emerging smart cities across the world.
Transportation and Traffic Management
Another public sector segment that presently benefits significantly from mining and analyzing data is the transportation sector. As a matter of fact, it is currently one of the biggest beneficiaries of real-time technology solutions, which include, among others, adaptive traffic control systems, connected public transit networks, and smart navigation applications. Adaptive traffic control systems automate traffic signals based on actual traffic conditions, while connected public transit networks help passengers keep track of the location and arrival times of public buses and trains. Over to the side of the motorists, smart navigation applications like Waze can provide turn-by-turn navigational information to drivers, with the end benefit of helping optimize underutilized transportation infrastructure by coursing traffic to roads that are less used for any given time.
Healthcare and Medicine
Healthcare is an issue that is fraught with a lot of challenges, but it is also a sector in which the use of big data presents tremendous opportunities. Consider, for example, how government hospital networks can use artificial intelligence solutions to rapidly mine and analyze patient health records to automatically predict that best clinical pathways for certain individuals or for patients belonging to similar health profiles. In this manner, health providers will have the ability to quickly generate treatment plans that offer the most cost-effective and most desirable outcomes for each patient. A similar system can also be adopted by government agencies when studying population risks. By doing so, they can be more adept at predicting future risk trajectories of entire populations and in identifying health risks that can endanger different groups of people.
Agriculture and Food Supply
In a world burdened by serious environmental challenges like an ever-increasing human population, loss of biodiversity, water scarcity and droughts, and changing patterns of precipitation—food security has become a global issue like never before. After all, these challenges affect the ability of our agricultural practices to keep pace with our species’ growing demand for food. This means we have to rely on more novel and more innovative solutions that strike at the heart of these problems.
As such, agricultural agencies are turning more and more to big data analytics to help farmers improve the way they do agriculture. For example, farmers can now use an array of technologies to help them grow crops better. These include sensors that detect weather and temperature conditions, automatic irrigation networks, and robotic planting systems, and advanced imaging systems that can reveal issues related to growing crops, like water stress, crop diseases, pests, and poor leaf vigor.
With big data analysis proving to have so many benefits, forward-looking governments and public sector agencies will be hard-pressed not to adopt some of the technological solutions that will help them mine and analyze the information that come their way on a daily basis.