The Challenge Of India Today Is To Use Big Data And Analytics For Better Governance

Information technology systems abound these days. India, the maker of the largest data repository in the world, now is faced with the challenge of how to use huge data sets for better governance. At the workshop organized by the National Institute for Smart Governance or NISG called the Big Data Analytics in Government, it emerged that the country owns the biggest data complex gathered through digitalization of records for purposes such as passports, IDs and subsidies payment. Big data is characterized by its variety, volume, speed and the analytics involves in processing cost-effectively to be able to draw conclusions for their useful application.


Information technology is at the heart of India. For many years it has been the outsourcing destination of the world, catering to clientele from different parts of the world, offering highly efficient services and products. With its enormous amount of data, it has opened up numerous opportunities to apply the data to improve the customer experience. Furthermore, it could also be used to boost the efficiency of the government, particularly in delivering services and to boost business, to build capacity to serve domestic and export markets. Big data analytics that merges into fields such as machine learning, deep learning and artificial intelligence has huge possibilities.
With the internet of things coming into its own after ITeS or information technology enabled services, a whole new world opens up for data with things such as sensors, for example. Experts claim that the relevance of big data could be gauged from the fact that ninety percent of digital information all over the world has been made in the last couple of years, while processing power has risen by forty percent between the years 2010 and 2016. At the same time, the cost of data storage has plunged 500 percent.


Big data brings new opportunities as well as new risks when it comes to integrity and confidentiality. Thus, good data governance is essential for organizations in the big data world these days. Furthermore, companies have to adopt practical steps to manage it effectively. Huge data and associated analytics are advantageous in numerous areas, such as,

  • Resolving traffic problems in cities
  • Efficient supply chain management
  • Targeting healthcare delivery
  • Providing personalized educational experience for students
  • Preventive steps to protect the environment
  • Enabling security to people and society
  • Informed policy making


One of the most critical aspects of data analytics is its effect on how decisions are made and who makes them. When data is costly to obtain, scarce or not available in digital form, it makes sense to allow people with experience to make decisions based on relationship and patterns they have observed and have internalized. Leaders state their opinions on what the future brings, what will happen, how well something would work and so on as per their intuition and plan accordingly.

Nonetheless, in the big data age, managers and leaders in private companies and government should be data-driven. They must have the courage to ignore their intuition and do what the data states. This needs a change in mindset as well as effective training to make decisions that are data-driven. Although businesses have adopted data and analytics in different forms efficiently to boost business efficiency and personalize offerings, governments have been laggards. The possible benefits that data analytics could bring to government could vary from transforming the programs of the government and empowering citizens to boost transparency and to enable participation of all stakeholders.


Governments differ from businesses when it comes to goals, mission and decision making. Although decision makers in businesses are limited, they are a diverse set in government. The government has tremendous data in legacy databases and forms that must be curated and migrated for new-age analytic tools. Also, data collection id a paramount task for government since data is received from numerous online and offline channels. Data sharing between departments and across ministries is a challenge, provided the existing jurisdictional boundaries.

Data analytics, when properly managed, could be a blessing to businesses struggling to gain bigger insights as well as competitive edge in the marketplace in the world. However, it could also be a curse to organizations that are not prepared to handle the untold x-bytes of unstructured data pouring unceasingly into their coffers. This is the dilemma most companies wake up to every day, and thus they capture only a fraction of the value that data analytics brings.

Big data could have a huge impact only when used on a massive scale, with safeguards by the Indian government for the delivery of public services and goods.