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As public-sector services receive greater scrutiny and applications of data and disruptive digital technologies expand possibilities, government officials need constant upskilling to meet higher expectations. Big data science and data analytics are no longer the exclusive tools of the private sector. All public-sector employees now need to feel comfortable in using big data analytics and other aspects of data science to meet citizens’ demands.
To offer training in big data analytics to enhance efficiency in public services, the Asian Productivity Organization (APO) in collaboration with the Thailand Productivity Institute is conducting a multi-country training of trainers course on Big Data Analytics for Public-sector Productivity in Bangkok, 25–29 November 2019. Twenty-four international and local trainees from 14 APO member countries are attending to develop skills in using common tools such as Excel, Qlik Sense, and Weka to perform data analysis and visualization while making predictions to solve data science problems. This will pave the way for applying those tools to make their public sectors more productive.
In his opening message, APO Alternate Director and NPO Head for Thailand, Dr. Phanit Laosirirat underscored the criticality of equipping public-sector officials with the knowledge and competencies to appreciate big data analysis and visualization and then incorporate those processes and practices in their daily work. In a world where data generation continues to increase exponentially, big data analytics is fast becoming a fundamental skill for all public employees to ensure the relevance of service delivery.
The utility of the training course is recognized by participants. For example, Chin Kuo of the Republic of China found that the course reaffirmed his passion for big data analytics and information system management in daily work. When considering his future long-term strategic career direction, data sciences represent an exciting field applicable to multiple tasks in a government agency. The content presented in the first two days of the course confirmed his future career goals.
In addition, the training course will develop the capability of public-sector organizations to perform self-assessment of their data analytic capabilities and plan the necessary steps for achieving maturity in this area. By the end of the course, participants will have acquired the appropriate teaching and facilitation skills to conduct training sessions in their own countries based on realistic action plans developed with the assistance of the resource persons leading the course.