Making Public Service BIG with #BigData

3 Months back while the world was watch­ing, amid­st much hy­pe, a new gov­ern­ment an­nounced its suc­cess with a lot of prom­ise to one and all.

One of those prom­ises was that of min­im­um gov­ern­ment, max­im­um gov­ernance. This state­ment is as au­da­cious as much as it’s suc­cinct. The new gov­ern­ment prom­ises to re­in­vent pub­lic ser­vice, mak­ing it more ef­fi­cient, in­tro­du­cing trans­par­ency and stead­i­er and sus­tain­able growth. With a gov­ern­ment more tech-embracing than ever and the ad­vent of fin­ger­tip tech­no­logy to the people, a lot can be hoped. How much is achieved is yet to be seen.

To solve a prob­lem, know­ing the prob­lem clearly is the key. This key is held by the huge loads of Data that we have hid­den in the or­gan­iz­a­tion­al silos of our gov­ern­ment. At Gramener, we at­tempt to solve this prob­lem through rich­er, bet­ter data-driven in­sights, mak­ing it avail­able to the com­mon Joe. The ad­vent of Big Data in today’s world is not un­known. Big Data is a term that every­one is us­ing today. From board rooms to col­lege canteens, it’s now be­come the buzz in the more priv­ileged world.

Making Public Service Big With Big Data

Fraud Detection

Some stats to put the prob­lem at hand in per­spect­ive:

$314 bil­lion is what India loses from tax eva­sion an­nu­ally, de­priving it of funds for in­vest­ment in roads, ports and power.7 With so little rev­en­ue, the gov­ern­ment must bor­row more to fund a planned $1 tril­lion five-year in­fra­struc­ture pro­gram.

$462 Billion is what India lost due to tax eva­sion, crime and cor­rup­tion post-Independence.

Click here to see more on govt. spend­ing.

The more start­ling fact is that this money is not only from the big-scale frauds that we read about in the dailies. Small, un­re­por­ted frauds add up and form such bizar­re num­bers.

What if we could track these num­bers to their last ru­pee like in the fin­an­cial ser­vices in­dustry? What if we could have sys­tems to de­tect ir­reg­u­lar­it­ies in each micro-transaction? Government should in­vest in the in­fra­struc­ture to cap­ture data from all corners of the gov­ern­ment ma­chinery to one place. Read about how the UK govt saved 33bn a year us­ing Big Data Analytics.

How about Internal Security?

CCTV foot­ages, RFIDs and scan­ner ma­chines and oth­er elec­tron­ic data, al­though un­struc­tured but when used with deft­ness, Wirelessly in­ter­cep­ted in­form­a­tion, Internet brows­ing activ­it­ies can really help ex­tract use­ful in­form­a­tion for ana­lyses to de­tect crime, ter­ror­ist activ­it­ies and track­ing wrong­do­ers faster and easi­er and way more ef­fi­cient.

Law en­force­ment agen­cies need to ad­apt to such prac­tices for the great­er good. This re­quires a con­scious ef­fort to­wards skill ac­quis­i­tion, train­ing etc but it’s worth the ef­fort.

Public Services

Ever thought of filling that form for your PAN-Card purely on­line and get­ting it at your door­step without hassles. Ever wondered what it means to get up­dates about that sky­walk in your neigh­bour­hood, its status real-time on that smart­phone like your Facebook no­ti­fic­a­tion. With mul­tiple sources of data and your de­tails in­teg­rated in­to one place, your up­dates, ser­vices can be more and more per­son­al.

Will there be a time when we real­ize the above is not a hy­po­theses alone? Lets hope our gov­ern­ments real­ize it soon. Watch this space out for some more thoughts on how hav­ing the data is the new ne­ces­sity.

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