SG govt narrows in on data and analytics capabilities

The Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore has created a data sciences group for the first time, hiring chief data scientist, Prabir Sen (pictured)  to lead it.

Sen’s group is tasked with providing capabilities to IDA’s data-driven projects. The government agency is still looking to further train and recruit for this group.

IDA Executive deputy chairman Steve Leonard said: “IDA has the goal of supporting Singapore's continued growth as a Smart Nation using data and analytics to improve the lives of citizens.”

The IDA has quoted a study by McKinsey, projecting that data and analytics could generate an additional SG$10 to SG$17 billion of value per year for Singapore. The agency has been executing initiatives to develop data capabilities - including releasing data sets to encourage the public, the industry and other organisations to capitalise the opportunities that data has to offer.

It is hosting activities such as’s Apps4SG Competition which encourages participants to use government data to develop applications that improve users’ lifestyles in Singapore. It is looking at working with other government agencies and the public and private sector for this.

“The knowledge created through intelligent analysis of data enables us to deal with priority issues such as healthcare.  Data and analytics underpin our development towards being an increasingly Smart Nation,” said Leonard.

He added that unlike some other resources, “data does not deplete” and “becomes more valuable the more you share it and use it.”