At the recent GITOC Summit, SAS Institute was invited by the council to present to members of this elite core of government ICT professionals the benefits of business intelligence and knowledge management for integrated service delivery within public sector.
Focusing on the need to make use of advanced analytics on existing data and within existing systems, the SAS team were able to present to the council how, through the use of technology, it will be able to improve and increase performance management throughout departments and agencies, and as a result drive up service delivery and efficiencies.
“The South African public sector currently makes use of a myriad of technology systems and solutions, some proprietary, such as its transactional systems, and some newer ERP and billing systems,” says Kroshlen Moodley, industry lead, public sector division at SAS South Africa.
“While many vendors are trying to convince government to uproot these old systems and replace them, conversely we are working with government to demonstrate how through the effective use of business intelligence and analytics solutions, it need not replace these systems in order to reap even more benefit from them, but merely add to them,” he adds.
Locally public sector departments and agencies have to date made use of business intelligence solutions as an extension of existing departmental transactional systems, which in turn has facilitated large scale departmental reporting on the data from these.
However, the need within the departments has evolved from reporting on past successes and failures to one that encompasses more advanced proactive analysis and forecasting on existing data.
“Government doesn’t need to know that it has succeeded or that it has fallen short in areas, it needs to know what it can do to make things better, why it did so well in an area, and then take that information and package it into actionable results that will drive the success of future projects and services,” adds Moodley.
“Reactive decision-making is simply no longer adequate, especially at a time when citizen expectations and demands are at an all time high.
“Our government knows they need to be proactive, and it is our responsibility as players in the ICT sector to provide them solutions that will facilitate this. Without adequate systems that perform the roles they need to and don’t just bloat the existing technology infrastructure, integrated service delivery will remain a pipedream,” states Moodley.
In his presentation to the council, Moodley discussed how greater transparency and a more proactive view can be reached through the adoption of analytics based solutions that integrate with existing transactional, transversal and departmental systems within government.
He also demonstrated how these can provide a view into perception analysis on social media networks, improve and highlight failings in performance management solutions and ultimately answer the presidency’s mandate for all spheres of government to adopt and embrace actionable planning, monitoring and evaluation.
“For the public sector to be able to meet the challenges it faces it needs to better position itself to be able to respond to: global threats; protect itself against security challenges; fight the war on poverty; increase literacy levels; improve the national healthcare system and grow the economy.
"This will only be achieved if it has the ability to accurately forecast and predict outcomes based decision-making that has a positive impact on the country and its citizens.
“It is to this end that we believe that the answer to all of these quandaries lies in the application of not only business intelligence reporting, but also more advanced and insightful business analytics and knowledge management – the next frontier to dramatically improving public sector performance management and the realisation of integrated service delivery,” concludes Moodley.