From government digitalisation to wholesale transformation


In a world that never stands still, especially in the post-Brexit whirlwind the UK will soon be entering, it’s imperative that government is agile and responsive. More importantly, how can this capability be arrived at without breaking the bank?

The UK Government recently released its Transformation Strategy 2017 to 2020. The three main objectives are:

  1. Transforming citizen-facing digital services.
  2. Transforming the way departments deliver their services inside, enabled by digital.
  3. Transforming the way government delivers change.

To enable the first two items on this list, government knows it must change the way it governs itself – requiring even greater levels of collaboration between departments.

This strategy knocks the UK government’s digital vision onwards from focusing purely on improving citizens’ interactions with departments at the front end, to transforming the way government works at the back end. So how can government get to a place of constant agility – where every decision-maker, researcher and policy architect is empowered by a level of insight they’ve never had before?

Now is the time for the government to embrace advanced analytics.

While there are key differences between public and commercial sectors, government bodies can learn how to create powerful transformations in efficiency, collaboration, productivity and satisfaction. For example, academic as well as real life studies show that when public sector organisations use advanced analytics they gain new insights that allow them to cost-effectively and rapidly achieve many of the following goals:

  • Increasing revenues by preventing fraud and error: tax offices.
  • Enhancing customer insight and cost effectiveness: welfare organisations.
  • Improving risk management and resource optimisation to save lives: public safety bodies.
  • Allocating resources fairly to drive up efficiency: health and defence organisations.

Nevertheless, every government department is changing at a different rate. What if your department’s core objective is more financial than transformational? Advanced analytics can help you step away from the more controversial, resource rationalising approach and instead take a more value-based approach to driving cost efficiency. By that we mean it will help you uncover and differentiate between bad costs (activities and processes that deliver limited value) and good costs (activities that are essential or add real value to citizens’ lives).

In summary: why advanced analytics now?

Advanced analytics is pretty flexible in its use cases, capabilities and transformational effects. However you deploy analytics, we encourage you to choose a partner with the scope to deliver real change. So you’ll need simple tools to better understand the stories your data is really telling you (such as visual analytics) all the way up to predictive models that can tell you the likely outcomes of your operational decisions and strategic policies.

Sounds like a lot to do? Well, knowing that many government departments are using open source technologies to build line of business applications for key processes, we also recommend that you carefully assess the cost/benefit relationship of using open source to build your analytics capabilities. It’s important to consider a vendor offering all the analytic capabilities you need, which are accessible via open source languages, to help you to gain deeper insights and more value from your data. This is the path to rapid, repeatable, analytic-driven transformation – and it’s something SAS is already helping many government departments achieve.

Find out how SAS could enable your department to make better decisions and smarter policies at less cost and risk.


About Author

David Downing

Central Government and Healthcare Director, SAS UK

David has been working with the public sector for over 15 years, building technology based partnerships focused on client and citizen value. He's experienced in the challenges of IT transformation. David was previously Director of Health at SAS UK, focusing on how SAS can enable improved health outcomes and reduce costs across the NHS. His responsibilities included solution development, demand creation, development of go-to-market strategy and building proof of value and strategic partnerships. His role has been expanded to manage a team who focus on helping Central Government within the UK understand the value of the data it holds together with how to gain intelligent insight for informed decision making. David has a detailed understanding of the challenges across health and government and how analytics can transform citizen and patients.

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