Taking Out the Fear and Uncertainty of Using Data Analytics In the UK's Public Sector
Sat, April 10, 2021

Taking Out the Fear and Uncertainty of Using Data Analytics In the UK's Public Sector

We have been too focused on features and functionality, not on value / Photo Credit: Billion Photos (via Shutterstock)


The promise of technology has not matched the reality of people’s experience since the dawn of the computer age, said Dean Wood of business and enterprise IT news channel IT Pro Portal. Over the years, we have been too focused on features and functionality but we struggled to drive expected value from investing in new technology. In the public sector, a number of high profile technology investments have failed to deliver such expectations or have been abandoned. Those tasked with investing in technology are unsure of what they are going to get in return for their investment, which is a barrier to the UK Public Sector’s ability to ensure that the latest data analytics approaches can be leveraged for the whole country.

How can citizens trust data analytics? It has to be understood technically, explained simply, and correlated to a business question. Technical understanding is needed by data analysts or scientists, which is fundamental in achieving confidence from stakeholders. Data analysts or scientists are expected to know their data sources and their limitations. They also need to use the simplest approach to draw insights and ensure accuracy. Technical understanding then leads to explainability. Citizens will trust a solution if the explanation of what is going to happen is clear and concise. Lastly, data analysts or scientists need to effectively predict the outcomes of their findings.

Wood posed, “What business problem is this project seeking to solve?” This is the most difficult and important part of a project. The question must first be “obvious follow on from any stakeholders situation and need.” Second, it is essential to deliver what the stakeholder wants even if there will be multiple inquiries regarding data. Finally, the desired outcome must be achievable. Wood recommended limiting the scope to ensure that an ambitious outcome becomes realistic.

As more powerful technologies emerge, the Public Sector must not hesitate to harness the power of data analytics today and in the near future. By employing some of the above-mentioned approaches, confidence in data analytics will increase, driving more value for the UK’s Public Sector.