From Business Intelligence to Business Analytics : Sudipta K Sen, SAS

“Various government departments in India like Directorate of Economics and Statistics (DES), Central Board of Excise & Customs (CBEC), Ministry of Health use our advanced analytical solutions” 

How do you think Business Intelligence can foster transparency in the government system? Are there any key learnings you would like to share with us?

Today with changing global, economic, political, environmental situations; government systems need to be effectively and efficiently aligned in order for it to optimise, while meeting the needs of external and internal constituents. With changing national and international dynamics, government today needs to stay agile, move beyond reactive decision making to pro-active decision making and to make better and faster strategic decisions. They constantly need to remain foresighted. To develop a strategy for constant innovation, optimisation and transformation, government needs to move beyond Business Intelligence and embrace the power of Business Analytics. Business Analytics not only empowers government organisations to deliver insight to the right people, at the right time and in the appropriate form but helps move beyond what was and what is to what will be, should be and can be. Business Analytics provide a flexible and extensible set of business interfaces to their information and supporting services, turning the information that has been collected and enriched into intelligence that they can be quickly act on. With functioning at a state or national level and responsibility towards its citizens, government departments have to ensure sanctity of information to foster transparency through out.

Your company has provided several applications for various departments of the government. How has been your experience so far?

SAS solutions like Performance Management, Activity-Based Management, Forecasting and Predictive Analytics, Data Quality and Integration, Financial Intelligence, Citizen Intelligence are being effectively used by government bodies across the globe. Some of our global customers are US Census Bureau, Department of Commerce and Treasury, Centre for Disease control and prevention, Public Service Commission, Prisons and Constabulary and Bureau of Internal Revenue.

Various government departments in India like Directorate of Economics and Statistics (DES), Central Board of Excise & Customs (CBEC), Ministry of Health use our advanced analytical solutions to analyse complicated data and to unearth hidden relationships in vast data volumes which would help in building an effective and efficient Decision Support System capable of providing analytical and timely information to various stakeholders.
Some of the key growth drivers for government organisation to embrace Business Analytics solutions include:

  • Managing information explosion
  • Managing citizen expectations
  • Increasing transparency
  • Avoiding tax evasion and minimising fraud

Business Analytics is emerging to be a strategic area of investment within the government organisation as it allows them to transform citizen data in to meaningful intelligence to manage citizen expectation and thereby strengthen service delivery to them. It helps unearth areas of tax evasion, thereby increase revenue. Looking at historical data and trend, it is also possible to do predictive modeling which can be a great business driver for ministry of commerce, agriculture etc. At every level of transactions, there is a constant need for the government to ensure public value efficiency, accountability and transparency. The main drivers that ensure this are: Tighter Strategic and Tactical planning; Faster, agile and event driven decision making; Reporting and Compliance; Analytics that focus on “how well” rather than “how much” and Improved performance and effectiveness impact.

What is your USP in the e-Governance sphere vis-a-vis your competitors?

SAS’s integrated Business Analytics framework helps governments get consistent, accurate and intelligent information for policy and decision making. SAS platform helps governments gather information/ data from multiple statewide systems consolidate and monitor the same, convert this information in to intelligence by analytics and forecasting, thereby giving them a comprehensive view of the national policies and state of affairs. SAS enables government organisation to mark accurate fact based decisions thereby further strengthening the effectiveness. Designed for complex IT environments, the SAS solution is both scalable and flexible, which suits the evolving needs of government organisations, regardless of size or structure.

With SAS, the insights you gain enable proactive management and informed decision making, resulting in reduced uncertainty, precise predictions and improved overall performance.

In the current volatile market scenario, are you betting big on the government vertical?

Government vertical is large and challenging. Unlike in any other industry, where you have liberty to choose your customer, government organisations needs to serve the whole populace, not just the good, law-abiding, taxpaying citizens. Mix into this the potential for genuine errors, process failures and delays, and the environment is such that avoidable losses go undiscovered and unrecovered. One of the greatest assets we have available for arresting  these losses is the ability to make sense of the reservoirs of intelligence and meaning within the even bigger repositories of raw data that underpin the day-to-day business of government. Intelligence allows us to spot poorly designed processes, hidden relationships within data and the faint traces left by even the best fraudsters so that service can be improved. We are pleased with the governments focus on using IT for improving service delivery to citizens which we believe they would be successfully executing against their stated goals. We believe it is important for industry to raise the level of awareness of deploying Intelligent IT infrastructure which can further accelerate the required transformation.

What are your plans for the year 2009 with reference to e-Governance?

Results-oriented, citizen-centric and reform-minded have become a mandates and rather than just rhetoric. The government needs to efficiently and effectively speed information and services delivery to the public. It is important for Indian e-Government initiatives to not only provide ‘access to information’ to citizens but engage citizens meaningfully for intelligent interactions. This requires clear understanding of who the citizen is and what relationships he has with multiple government organisations. We see a great opportunity for SAS in working with government organisation in order to equip them with required intelligent infrastructure which can take e-Government from ‘Information Access stage’ to ‘Intelligent Interaction stage’ with citizens. We are excited by the opportunity presented by this sector. We have a focused strategy of working closely with the government and enable them with required intelligent infrastructure so that they can take fact based decisions. SAS’s decades of experience in working closely with this segment coupled with industry backed solutions, positions it ideally to serve this segment.

Tannu Singh