Let’s apply the analogy to society. In society, there are millions of individuals who determine the social behaviors; the same behaviors which lay foundations for the problems or blessings of the society. In order to correct the problems, it is important to first identify the behaviors. Here is how it is being done in Punjab:
IT Infrastructure Deployment
Necessary hardware and software infrastructure has been deployed in more than 100 departments of Government Punjab. The departments include agriculture, health, education, local government, housing, transportation, law enforcement, human resources and so on…catering to wide range of daily needs of citizens. The citizens’ interactions with them largely define the behaviors of society. Monitoring these interactions is the key to pinpoint the exact problems. This is how the Disease Surveillance System is working from the platform of PITB. It collects patients’ data from the public hospitals all over Punjab to extract health insights of the province. The problem is really narrowed down when certain diseases patterns are recognized.
With infrastructure comes the necessary training to operate the new system. It becomes mandatory for public officials to have hands on practice of operating the IT gadgets. Officials of hundreds of departments where process automations have been completed by PITB and other monitoring bodies which have been provided with monitoring tools have been trained at PITB so far. Thousands of such individuals have been trained so far from all over Punjab. These individuals belong to diverse range of departments such as police, health, courts, and schools and so on.
Generation of ‘Big Data’
With process automation and digitization, every bit of transaction is recorded precisely. The large sums of data amount to ‘big data’. Big data in recent times have become a powerful source of intelligent decision making when business intelligence techniques are applied to it. Every day, the data of teachers present in the schools all over Punjab, people who call the excise and taxation helpline, amount of cash being disbursed to flood affected, number of patients who visited hospitals on a certain day is documented accurately. The data is not only helpful in running the business of government more efficiently, but in research as well. The research which has become an integral part in value creation is a larger part of the knowledge economies.
Space for Private Enterprises
As more and more automation occurs in public departments and more and more data is generated as a result, there are more opportunities for private enterprises especially tech companies to intervene and provide intelligent analyses to manufacturing and production firms. Such consulting firms can take a lead in determine consumer demands and direct other businesses to produce around that demand.
Informed Decision Making
Data driven decision making or informed decision making is the ultimate outcome of digitization in Punjab. Dengue was fought in Punjab with informed decision making and targeted approach. Same is going to happen with crimes in Punjab as heat maps of crimes are being generated and targeted operations will be carried instead of wasting resources. So, with the inception of information technology infrastructure, there come many other by-products to survive and compete in this global world. In this digital world, PITB conceives an information and knowledge driven approaches to tackle the challenges of poverty, health, education, and law & order.