Big Data in Policy Making – UPSC GS3

What is Big Data?
Big data is a term that describes the large volume of data – both structured and unstructured – that inundates a business on a day-to-day basis
How Big Data can be utilised in better policy-making?
  • Predicting disease outbreaks: Online searches can be mined for data that helps predict disease outbreaks
  • Helping Relief efforts: Cell phone data can help direct relief efforts in the aftermath of a natural disaster
  • Optimizing energy grids: Power-usage data can be analysed to optimize energy grids and plant power generation; Discoms in India are already using data from last-mile sensors to implement measures for cutting down aggregated technical and commercial losses
  • Revamping health system: Healthcare data can be used to revamp the public health system
  • Improving infrastructure and transport: Massive amounts of data generated by cities, from traffic signals to public transport usage, can be used to improve infrastructure and transport systems as Singapore has done
Effective implementation
Points of consideration for effective implementation of Big Data,
  • Infrastructure in India for efficient data collection and management is lacking; this must be strengthened
  • Policies should be revamped based on proper feedback
  • Ethical dimensions of Big data should be addressed like anonymization of data, to what data should be collected and what use it should be put to.

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