Big Data in the Public Sector: Selected Applications and Lessons Learned

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Tomar, Louisa;
Guicheney, William;
Kyarisiima, Hope;
Zimani, Tinashe
Oct 2016
Acevedo, Sebastián;Roseth, Benjamin
This paper analyzes different ways in which big data can be leveraged to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of government. It describes five cases where massive and diverse sets of information are gathered, processed, and analyzed in three different policy areas: smart cities, taxation, and citizen security. The cases, compiled from extensive desk research and interviews with leading academics and practitioners in the field of data analytics, have been analyzed from the perspective of public servants interested in big data and thus address both the technical and the institutional aspects of the initiatives. Based on the case studies, a policy guide was built to orient public servants in Latin America and the Caribbean in the implementation of big data initiatives and the promotion of a data ecosystem. The guide covers aspects such as leadership, governance arrangements, regulatory frameworks, data sharing, and privacy, as well as considerations for storing, processing, analyzing, and interpreting data.