The new study found that while only one in four civil servants believes their department is following the government’s national data strategy, efficiency and technology infrastructure could be a significant barrier to the strategy’s effectiveness.
As part of the SAS, Intel and Dods research conducted in April 2022, 86 civilian employees from major government departments, including HMRC and the Home Office, were surveyed.
The purpose of the study was to understand the practices of data sharing across government departments, to focus on understanding key priorities and barriers around data and analytical initiatives, and the benefits of data sharing.
The results are published in the 2022 UK Government Data Survey research report. It comes at a time when the government is committed to driving skills that will cut government spending by £ 5.5 billion and maximize the value of taxpayers’ money.
Extensive research led by SAS found that improving and sharing data sharing across the public sector is among the top three priorities (41 percent), as well as improving the data efficiency needed to maximize data utilization (58 percent) and building a foundation. To ensure that the data is suitable for the purpose (62 percent). Nine out of 10 civil servants added that their government departments now use data to make decisions.
These are positive results for the government’s National Data Strategy, which was set in September 2021 to improve data usage and free up businesses and organizations to use data for innovation and testing. The aim is to increase productivity, create new businesses and jobs, and improve the public service, making the UK a pioneer in the next wave of innovation.
However, the report also identifies key barriers to data sharing across governments that may affect strategy and data use effectiveness for decision-making. Respondents claim that legacy systems are the number one obstacle to data sharing and analytical initiatives.
Forty percent expressed concern about the development and retention of skilled workers, and 37 percent pointed to a lack of in-house technical knowledge or skills around the data. These represent a significant challenge for government departments who want to use data and either employ or train people with the right data science skills.
Commenting on the results of the 2022 UK Government Data Survey Research Report, Simon Dennis, Director, Future Government and AI Evangelist, SAS UK, said: One of the most important findings of our survey is that to the extent that this mentality has changed, more than two-thirds of respondents (69 per cent) said that their department now collaborates with other government agencies and shares data, with only five per cent sure their data. Not being shared yet.
“The report also identifies key barriers to data sharing across government that could affect the effectiveness of the national data strategy. Nearly half of respondents expressed concern about the development and retention of skilled workers, while two-thirds believe the current technology infrastructure is outdated.
“The supply of data skills in the job market is low, and the public sector can compete with private sector companies to compete for top talent that is not limited by the civil service pay grade. So training existing staff within the government and focusing on increasing data literacy in the service may be the best option for building the necessary skills, while investing in the latest AI and data analysis technology is going to be crucial to ensure efficiency. Data-driven decision-making. “
Roderick Crawford, VP and Country Manager, SAS UK and Ireland, said: “Over the years, attitudes towards data use within the UK government have changed, as this study illustrates. For many departments, the appointment of chief data officers, the establishment of a central digital and data office, the introduction of a national data strategy last September, and the emphasis on data in the announcement of government reforms are all indicators of data being at the top. Agenda
“The 2022 UK Government Data Survey Research Report is a clear reflection of this because many departments want to use the data to improve efficiency and improve decision making. We know there are challenges, especially around efficiency, that can be overcome, but in the end this drive towards data will have a big positive impact on the efficiency of the UK government. “