Bet big on data literacy for public sector challenges

An illustration depicting a figure stood gazing at various graphs and a cloud | Data and technology

Chris Withey, public sector lead at Oracle EMEA Industries, discusses data literacy training for overcoming public sector hurdles.

Budgetary constraints, staffing pressures and access to the right skills all limit governments’ ability to leverage data across teams and departments. But without accurate, data-driven insights, civil servants risk being in the dark when making key decisions.

A cultural shift on how data and technology is perceived, understood and used is fundamental to delivering better public sector outcomes. Data literacy training can help leaders and employees recognize the difference data and analytics makes to the delivery of their work. It can also nurture collaboration that breaks through organizational silos. Implemented effectively, this will enable governments to find new efficiencies and improve public services.

To deliver digital public services at scale, and with the user centricity and transparency that citizens are coming to expect, central governments can fast track technological and cultural change. This means using the right infrastructure and solutions to effectively deliver digital services, while promoting a culture that ensures data literacy across government.

Transformation through technology

To gain the full benefits of data literacy, technical limitations must also be overcome. Governments contend with aging on-premises infrastructure and data silos that hamper their ability to deliver personalized digital services. Meanwhile, customized legacy applications can be difficult to update – this leads to extra costs and resource waste, as well as potential vulnerability to cyber threats.

Moving to cloud infrastructure and “out of the box” cloud applications can address these issues head on. Cloud-based platforms help public sector organizations increase operational efficiency, while freeing up people and technological resources. This gives teams time to securely innovate with large amounts of data, rather than focusing on maintaining existing infrastructure. Meanwhile, autonomous cloud infrastructure can improve system performance, enabling data to be leveraged at scale.

Security in the cloud

Central government institutions and departments are responsible for a nation’s most sensitive information, including data relating to defense and public safety. Governments need full control and transparency surrounding who views and uses this data.

Governments contend with aging on-prem infrastructure and silos.

Cloud infrastructure that is built from the ground up with security in mind gives governments visibility of their data, as well as peace of mind that it is being stored and processed safely. Depending on the specific needs of government bodies, deployment models will often strike a balance between public, hybrid and private cloud. Private cloud environments are especially well-suited to mission-critical contexts on the grounds of heightened security.

Setting new standards

By empowering collaboration across silos and using data-driven insights as the basis of decision-making, governments can set new standards in data literacy. Equally, investment in secure cloud infrastructure and solutions can safeguard sensitive data, while transforming back-office processes and service delivery. Ultimately, the result will be better outcomes for citizens.