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Public sector challenges around business analytics

Achieving effective reporting within the public sector

As organisations develop and evolve their analysis capabilities and reporting mechanisms, the challenges for companies on utilising the data effectively so that decisions can be made effectively is increasing. For those in the public sector however, whether Government, local authorities or NGOs, the requirements around reporting pose a different set of challenges to corporate businesses.

Public sector organisations are often handling huge volumes of data; usually spanning different data sets and varying types. It is therefore important for those public sector teams to ensure that the right business analytic tools are available so that the data can be analysed in order to retrieve the information, deliver insights and share the data across the organisation in the most effective way possible. The rationale may vary; it may be to improve service delivery or to monitor performance, whatever the reason the business analytics solution needs to facilitate and not hinder efficient working.

Many teams working within local and central government face the challenge of siloed data sets, making it difficult to bring data together cohesively or to compare like with like. As with all good practice business analytics and reporting, having a single dashboard solution that provides a clear insight makes organisations more efficient.

To facilitate the reporting the business analytic tool needs to be an easy to use platform that ideally provides a dashboard that enhances data visualisation and reporting. An intuitive platform helps with user adoption, increasing uptake and usage and embedding reporting best practice.

Many public sector teams use older systems, which means that the business analytics platform needs to be able to access them easily in order to retrieve data. Being able to have a single dashboard that can retrieve data from legacy systems and share information between departments means the organisation is able to facilitate moving away from stand-alone spreadsheets; making the processes more robust and improving data integrity. Similarly data business analytic platforms provide a level of security over spreadsheets which ensure the right standard level of access rights is provided to individuals; allows control over who sees what data, particularly if it contains sensitive or personal information; and audit trails for access.

Another benefit of a single dashboard solution is the ability of teams to view the data in real-time so that users have up-to-date information continuously. This is particularly important when teams have self-service reporting. Teams are able to generate the reports they require on an ad-hoc process, removing the reliance on a standard weekly or monthly report. As budgets become ever-more squeezed, providing efficient self-service reporting means that teams generate the reports they require quickly. By using data from across the organisation, key metrics showing value for money, performance of partners and suppliers and service quality levels can be demonstrated.

Business analytics in the public sector means far more than simply reporting. Being able to use historical data to create models and scenarios to create predictive analytics that highlight trends means local and central government teams have greater insight. By understanding both the cause and the effect it allows performance changes to be introduced that improve quality and value for money.

After all, for most public service teams the reason for using business analytics is to transform the delivery of public sector services. Having single dashboards which access data and are easily shared provides the vital insights to producing this transformation.

1 Jul, 2020 by

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