Does the public sector need to step out of ‘data blindness’?

The IT services provider for the public sector Civica has published a report claiming the public sector needs to ‘step out of this era of data blindness’.

The report follows David Cameron’s speech last week calling for a ‘smarter state’ to meet efficiency cuts.


Warning from technology leaders

The report, ‘Enabling a new world of public service delivery’, calls for the shake-up in “IT enabled transformation” in the public sector. Technology experts caution that, unless public sector IT has a revamp, the new government will not be able to make savings needed or be able to make the ‘One Nation’ vision possible.

It goes on to explore ways in which the UK public sector can prepare for an imminent digital society. According to the report, priorities should include: boosting the public sectors’ data IQ, creating a self-service and “social nation” and “committing to outcome-based intervention driven by an overall cultural shift”.


Not viable

Jackie Walley, Head of Moderning Education at Denbighshire County Council, said that, with over 300 active systems, the cost of maintaining them is not feasible. The council is collecting data and “pushing it out to relevant parties as an available service” in order to “streamline processes”, lower costs and create efficiencies.


Data rich, information poor

Steve Shakespeare, Managing Director, Civica Services, said:

To date, public services have been data rich but information poor. With £30 billion in savings yet to be found, data insight is pivotal to enabling public service organisations to act smarter, identify opportunities for greater efficiency and deliver services at the point of need.”

John Hood, Chief Technology Officer at Civica, added: “From a data insight and analytics perspective the last ten years have seen public sector organisations progress only 20% of the way through the business transformation journey, with the remaining 80% to be delivered over the next ten years. For innovation to happen we need to step out of this era of data blindness.”


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