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Public-service agencies in Australia and New Zealand are operating in changing financial, policy and social environments as leaders are facing increasing challenges to do more with less. In this post recession era, citizens are demanding increased levels of accountability and higher levels of cost efficiency with public funds. For 2011, more than ever, there is a need for public sector leaders to be able to make timely, informed decisions to deliver efficient public services in a cost-efficient manner.
In order to meet the budgetary demands, many public-service agencies are facing increases in budget cuts, while being forced to preserve their essential services. In April 2011, the Australian Federal Government announced a proposed increase of the efficiency dividend by 0.25% – a 0.25% annual reduction of the amount of resources consumed for the same level of output totalling to a saving of AU$1.1 billion. In other words, the Australian Federal Government plans to carry out core business activities more efficiently to deliver cost savings across agencies.
In light of these proposed measures, leaders of public-service agencies must determine how best to improve their businesses and reduce surplus diminishing inefficiencies. To do this, leaders must be able to understand how their organisation is currently working and where the inefficiencies lie throughout their business to create leaner, more efficient operations. By using analytics, public-sector agencies can gain a deeper understanding of what has happened and why. Such understanding can be translated into greater levels of operational efficiency and the insights can be applied to create better services in a more productive and cost efficient way.
IBM has identified four strategic imperatives that will help government organisations achieve the greatest returns from analytics. They should:
Focus on the outcomes of analytics rather than the issues that drive it
Orient management and leadership of information around its use and purpose rather than who owns it
Use analytics in a targeted way – choose a pain point and develop an analytics approach that delivers a meaningful result
Embed a passion for and discipline of analytics into the organisation's management
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