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Democratization of data – A Govt. of India initiative

Neeraj Pratap 0

NITI Aayog recently released its vision for the National Data and Analytics Platform (NDAP). The platform aims to democratise access to publicly available government data. It will host the latest data sets from various government websites, present them coherently, and provide tools for analytics and visualization. NDAP will follow a user-centric approach and will enable data access in a simple and intuitive portal tailored to the needs of a variety of stakeholders. The platform will be powered by a user-friendly search engine, backed by seamless navigation, with a world-class user interface. Data will be provided in a machine-readable format with customisable analytics. I am a big fan of such data. The scale and complexity of which is mostly underestimated by a lot of experts. We at Hansa Cequity effectively use this data to prove our hypothesis  and plan our go to market strategies.
The NDAP proposes to be a simple and compelling platform where various data sets can be accessed together. This has been a longstanding gap in the data ecosystem, which NITI Aayog is now seeking to try and address. The mission of the NDAP is to be a one-stop and user-friendly data platform. It will potentially go a long way in transforming India’s data ecosystem.
The NDAP will spearhead the standardization of formats in which data is presented across sectors and will cater to a wide audience of policymakers, researchers, innovators, data scientists, journalists and citizens. It goes without saying that intelligent marketers will use this data to enhance their understanding of the Indian market and understand broad trends that are likely to have an impact on long term strategy.
The NDAP is seeking to address two main gaps:

  1. All data sets are not published in a user-centric manner that is analysable and visually presented.
  2. There are a multitude of data sets out there that is not easily accessible. The NDAP proposes a simple, interactive, visual, and robust platform that will host various Central and state government data sets.

The platform, to be developed through public private partnership on design, build, operate and transfer mode, will integrate and help better understand of citizens’ data, spend patterns of the government, consumption trends and the success of various government policies. All data would be aggregate data on government functioning, with no individual or personal identifiable data collected on the portal. There is a Technical Advisory Group consisting of sector and technology experts that will provide guidance on the development of the platform, management of data, and aligning the platform for user-needs. The platform is likely to be launched in 2021.
The project gets more impetus as during the budget presentation in parliament today, the Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman’s Budget made a substantial allocation of funds towards development of quantum technology in the country. She went on to say India has already embraced the new data paradigm. She further added that the new economy will be based on innovations that disrupt established business models. “AI, IoT, 3D, printing, drones, data storage, quantum computing etc are all rewriting the world economic order,” she said. It is indeed heartening to see the government initiatives in the digital governance, data privacy and data management space. I know India is late in joining this party but nevertheless hope that the government moves fast.