Data is the new gold. And like gold, it needs to be mined and processed to become valuable. Gold that sits in the ground is free for anyone who finds it. But only after excavated and used to make jewelry or industrial equipment will its potential value will be realized.
Data is the same. It is everywhere, but until it is captured and analyzed it holds no value. The real value comes from the insights that are generated from analyzing the Big Data. These insights help organizations optimize their performance. Business can make better investment decisions, uncover new markets, optimize processes, and deliver products faster and more reliably. Governments can tailor services for individual citizens, significantly reduce overhead, shorten process time, and increase information security.
While Big Data analysis provides tremendous opportunities, it also comes with certain challenges and requirements. Here are four challenges that are particularly relevant for government organizations:
- Eliminating Data Silos
Governments accumulate all kinds of information about their citizens, such as birth certificates, drivers’ licenses, car registrations, tax return, property deeds, and more. All of this data is stored in different departments and cannot always be shared easily. Isolating data in this way can help to protect privacy; however, sharing information is often necessary. For example, when different departments store similar information about the same individual, if the information is not synchronized it can result in confusion, additional work – and potentially big problems for the citizen. It is therefore better to have only one version of each data element (a “single source of the truth”) and to share or reference this data across the various departments.
Eliminating data silos is a complicated and sensitive process whereby no data can get lost and duplicate data entries are resolved. Eventually a single database will exist from which all government departments can draw information and where all new Big Data is stored.
- Creating a Nationwide, Unified Platform
In addition to unifying data storage, government departments must have access to this data and to each other; this requires a secure and intelligent national e-government network. Thanks to the benefits of cloud computing, a unified platform can be established where departments can access data, communicate with other departments, use applications, and perform other tasks. A unified national system will be easier to manage, at a lower cost. Instead of each local organization trying to secure, manage and optimize the local IT, a centralized team can more efficiently provide a better service.
- Establishing a set of regulations for Big Data
While the ability to access data from everywhere is great, the data should not be accessible by everyone. Citizens’ data is sensitive and can cause serious harm if it gets into the wrong hands. Well organized and experienced criminal organizations are constantly looking for ways to access private data. Also, government staff should only have access to the data that is relevant to their job, to prevent them from looking at sensitive data out of curiosity.
To properly manage the data, the first step is to understand the nature of the data and decide which data should be accessible by whom, and how it should be managed. By creating a set of regulations based on these decisions, it will be clear the data should be handled under particular circumstances. The applications can be configured or developed to strictly follow these regulations, as well as all other parts of the IT system that impact data security.
- Ensure ongoing optimization of the platform
Designing and building the Big Data platform is an obvious first step, but equally important is the ongoing management and optimization of the platform. This includes the data storage facilities, analysis software, network connectivity, applications and of course the data itself. Intelligent tools will help to ensure that the platform and the data is secure, available, reliable and accurate. Over time the amount of data will grow rapidly, and new technologies will become available. An ongoing optimization process will ensure that the data will be manageable and meet the regulatory requirements, while ensuring the performance of the data access.
Huawei Big Data Service for Smart Cities
In several locations in China, the government is building Smart Cities. With urbanization proceeding quickly, the Chinese government is investing heavily to provide a high quality of life for its citizens. Sometimes expanding existing cities is not the best solution, so new cities are built from the ground up. They are typically located where they provide the biggest economic benefit for the region, and advanced technology is used to make peoples’ lives citizens more comfortable and safe.
A particular Smart City development in the center of China has defined a “Big Data Sharing and Exchange Platform” project with the following requirements:
- To build a security system for the Big Data sharing and Exchange Platform to ensure reliable, stable and accurate operation of the platform;
- Build data management tools for data collection, integration, quality assessment, cleaning, quality, consistency, standardization, etc.
- Construct the data resource pool according to the standards of the government data model, establish the appropriate data model, build the data buffer, transfer the source data library, integrate the base library, historical database, unstructured database, and ensure that the imported data and the incremental data are stored according to the automated scheduling process.
This project supports the development of the Smart City, and the e-Government, which will greatly improve the quality and efficiency of government services for the people. It also has important strategic significance for the information development and government transformation in the area.
This is reflected in the following main aspects:
- Realize safe management of government information.
The project utilizes all the capabilities of cloud computing, virtualization, on-demand, and dynamic expansion to provide compute, storage and information services for various departments. The result is a centralized deployment of software and hardware, sharing of common infrastructure, and information sharing. Through the centralized and high-standard management and maintenance of core systems and data, the security and control will be guaranteed.
- Serve the government and society to realize information services
The platform offers a full range of information services to the government and to society. The Data Resource Sharing and Exchange platform will provide fast information inquiry and information release services, manage the government affairs for people’s livelihood, and realize the accurate information, to benefit the people.
- Improve government work efficiency and office quality
The city government will improve efficiency, reduce costs, and simplify many processes. Through the government Big Data Sharing and Exchange platform, benefits are realized for the people, and services are made more convenient. Fundamentally, it realizes the transformation of government from simple management to management services.
Huawei Services is currently planning, implementing and optimizing this Big Data Sharing and Exchange Platform, based on the Huawei Big Data hardware and software solution.
Huawei aspires to be the partner of choice for enterprises and governments around the world; only by delivering world-class service we can accomplish this vision. We want our service partners to grow with us, and thrive equally while we enable the Digital Transformation of many companies. These are exciting times, and we are humbled by this challenge, but proud to be at the center of a global business revolution.
To learn more about Huawei Services, please go to http://e.huawei.com/en/services; or contact your local Huawei Service representatives or Certified Service Partner.