Austerity ushers in data innovation in UK public sector

UK public sector, data innovation
© Vasyl Dolmatov

Big Data LDN (BDL), revealed findings from its Public Sector Data Report 2019: What is really happening in the UK public sector?

The independent research, commissioned by Big Data LDN and sponsored by Qlik, surveyed 100 public sector employees to discover how they keep on top of security, budget cuts and regulation, while attempting to process and understand growing amounts of data.

Perhaps counterintuitively, one of the major findings is that austerity has been a driver of data innovation with over a half of respondents (54%) actively using data and analytics to help address the challenges of public sector spending cuts.

The findings also show that 91% of respondents’ data-driven initiatives have benefited their respective departments, highlighting the increasingly important relationship between the growth of the UK’s public sector and data analytics.

Other key findings from the report include:

1. Security, data loss and breaches are top concerns for UK’s public sector. Out of the 100 public sector employees surveyed:

  • 20% cite security concerns
  • 13% fear data loss or breaches
  • 5% GDPR claim GDPR holds them back from sharing data

2. Half of the UK’s public sector is confident in Data Literacy. Data Literacy is the ability to read, work with, analyse and argue with data. 50% of respondents are either confident and well-trained or competent and eager to learn when it comes to Data Literacy.

3. Data and analytics are seen as high value in the public sector. Over a third of respondents, (37%) agree that their current data initiatives are very helpful in some way, whether this is helping departmental collaboration or identifying areas for saving.

Sean Price, EMEA Director, Industry Solutions, Qlik commented:

“This research reveals that there are clear pockets of excellence and world-leading solutions that some of the UK’s public sector organisations are delivering. Even though the fears of security and data loss prevent some from sharing and handling data in the most effective way, it is highly encouraging to see confidence in data literacy increasing. This is absolutely vital in today’s fourth industrial revolution.”

Big Data LDN founder Bill Hammond, concluded:

“These findings highlight how harnessing data is key to future of data innovation. Now is the time for public sector leaders to take action, make sure their employees are confident and well equipped to handle large amounts of data, rather than avoiding the issue because the data sets are ‘too large’.

“We only have to look at the fact that nearly all respondents have seen benefits from data-driven initiatives to know this is the next step to the UK’s public sector growth.”


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