(29 October 2015) Faster transportation, a one-stop portal for personal health information or saving lives, these are just some of the new services being developed by the dynamic data science and analytics team at the IDA Hive.
Located at the newly-opened Sandcrawler, the IDA Hive is home to the Government Digital Services team made up of almost 100 data scientists, designers, engineers, coders and other experts giving government services and applications a tech makeover to better meet the needs of the public.
The IDA Hive includes a Design Experience Lab, fitted with a range of sensor technology to assess user experience, facilities to chart the progress of the services developed and even dashboards that provide engagement, performance and stability indices of digital services.
“People are at the heart of a Smart Nation. The government needs to ensure that the digital experiences it delivers to citizens are useful, relevant and easy enough for anyone to use, regardless their level of tech-savviness. One way to do that is to harness the power of data analytics to better understand how to design policies and services that benefit people. The Hive brings together for the first time a multi-disciplinary team dedicated to public impact through technology. It enables the Government to be nimble and responsive in developing digital services and policies. It also reflects the Government’s commitment to strengthen its capabilities in coming up with solutions that can make a difference in improving people’s lives,” said Dr Yaacob Ibrahim, Minister for Communications and Information, at the official opening of the Hive by IDA.
Aimed at leveraging on data and analytics to gain better insights into the needs of users to improve their digital government transaction experience, the unit also doubles up as a consultancy, assisting agencies on the development of new services or enhancement of existing ones.
At the launch, Ms Jacqueline Poh, Managing Director, IDA, revealed the revamped Data.gov.sg portal. This open data site revamp is a shift towards making data more accessible and communicating more effectively with data. The new site places heavy emphasis on data visualisations to allow users to understand the data at a glance, and has a data blog for data narratives and stories that will be added over time. The data.gov.sg team will also be focusing on improving data quality and releasing more data streams (or APIs) to enable software application development on top of the data.
She also shared that a new web and mobile analytics tool was being developed to help agencies analyse browsing patterns from Government websites and mobile apps to improve their user experience.
To support the various citizen-centric initiatives, Mr Chan Cheow Hoe, Government CIO of Singapore said, “The talent, skills and experience required to use data effectively and build applications to address the needs of citizens has taken on a new dimension. There is a rising demand for experts in this area within the government to take public service delivery to a level higher and pave the way for how the government addresses real life problems and make a difference to citizens’ lives.”
In order to enhance engineering and development capabilities in government, IDA launched a new Technology Associates Programme that would provide talented software developers, designers, data scientists and others, opportunities to apply technology to real public policy challenges at IDA Hive.
Read the press release.