What do you understand by the term “Big Data”? Suggest ways in which government can use big data to improve service delivery?

What do you understand by the term “Big Data”? Suggest ways in which government can use big data to improve service delivery?


  • Introduce with the concept of big data
  • Explain how big data can help improve service delivery in tax administration, health services etc.
  • Conclude Appropriately.
Model Answer :

Big Data is data whose scale, diversity, and complexity require new architecture, and analytics to manage and extract value from it. The increasing volume and detail of information captured by governments, enterprises, social media, and more connected devices are fueling exponential growth in big data. Big data analytics opens up opportunities for governments to improve the citizens’ customer experience, to improve government efficiency to boost business and design better policies.

The Indian government is looking at ways to bring data analytics, supercomputing and the Aadhaar database together so as to improve service delivery and design better public policies. Some of the important applications include:

  • For policy making: The volume of data generated is growing exponentially, which can be a goldmine for the inputs in policy making. For example, the use of Big Data also allows policymakers to understand the direction of labour flows and design relevant policies.
  • Tax administration: By integrating and analyzing the multiple data sources including income tax filings, pan data, digital transactions etc., big data will help tax departments in becoming efficient in tax administration ans also in finding tax evaders, and identifying tax malpractices like hawala dealings.
  • Health care: Big data can help in identifying disease outbreaks, analyse disease patterns and seasonality, thereby improving public health care and drug supplies.
  • Agriculture: Big Data can be used to understand consumer needs, farmer preferences, supply chain management, managing food processing and reducing wastage.

The Department of Science and Technology’s launched Big Data Initiative (BDI) to promote and foster Big Data science and applications in the country. It shows that India realizes the potential of big data in an increasingly digitized world, and intends to harness it. However, the huge amount of data collected and the ability to gain insights into individuals primarily raises privacy and data security concerns. These should be addressed by the government with data protection policies.

Subjects : Science and Technology