Using advanced analytics and AI to improve public service
AI and advanced analytics can improve public services. At the moment, public service has problems, like long queues and delays in service provision that could stand to be a bit more efficient. However, despite the inefficiencies, there is also a wealth of opportunity, thanks to data analytics. Most government and non-profit organisations have access to large data bodies that could help improve the rate and quality of public service, provided the data is analysed properly.
This is where AI and advanced analytics can become handy. With proper application, data analysts can help transform public service to make it more efficient and responsive.
The need for advanced analytics and AI in public service
At its core, advanced analytics refers to a platform that can breakdown data with granular precision when analysing a diverse dataset. This is invaluable considering that most public service organisations have access to a rich, diverse dataset that could transform service delivery and decision-making.
For example, using advanced analytics, government health organisations can draw parallels between the chances of heart disease occurring with the language used in Twitter posts. Analysis on this level could transform the way organisations make policy decisions, allowing them to be more proactive in their decision-making.
There is also the question of AI. One of the reasons why public service tends to lag behind its private counterparts, in terms of operational efficiency, is because of menial labour tasks. So many menial tasks are still in the hands of employees, which holds up the rate of service delivery.
However, thanks to AI, these menial tasks can now be conducted by machines at a faster rate. This will help improve the rate of service in public organisations because employees no longer have to waste a significant portion of their time performing trivial tasks. While the AI handles more monotonous tasks, public servants can do more advanced work at the same time, improving productivity and service delivery
Furthermore, there is also the degree of accuracy to consider. It is easy for government employees to make mistakes, considering their workload. Advanced analytics and AI can help improve accuracy by a significant margin. Better accuracy means fewer reworks required, which means more productivity (which means fewer headaches for all involved!). Through proper use of advanced analytics and AI, we have the opportunity to improve the quality and efficiency of public service.
Preparing public services for advanced analytics
While there is no denying the benefits of AI and advanced analytics in public services, it does entail a degree of forethought and preparation.
This is because advanced analytics and AI is not as simple as installing software and running it. It needs to be installed and administered correctly by the right team. Even after systems are installed and working, there needs to be a workforce skilled enough to take advantage of the data analytics systems.
Organisations need a force of IT personnel that can extract data from the analytics platforms and generate useful insights from it. Even beyond the core analytics personnel, managers (or anyone in the middle management level) need to be skilled enough to identify opportunities presented by data analytics platforms.
Furthermore, public servants will need to adapt to working with machine-assisted, decision-making algorithms, which not only leads to a technical shift in how the organisation works but also a cultural one. This is because everyone’s role within the organisation will shift, along with their skillset. In some cases, there might even be a question of whether they need to build in-house analytics expertise or work with a consultant, which could have further implications, in terms of contractual obligations.
Working towards better public service
To improve public service, we need to explore all potential avenues, including the use of advanced analytics and AI. Advanced data analytics can help organisations move more efficiently than before. Furthermore, AI can help augment the rate of productivity because of several factors, like the ability to automate several functions and even eliminate human error from certain processes.
Given all these factors, advanced analytics and AI can help organisations by a significant margin. However, to make full use of these analytics platforms requires a complete shift in the way the organisation works, from both a technical and cultural perspective.