Shropshire Council is a good example of many local authorities using data imaginatively to predict demand for adult social care. This article paints in a bigger context for all organisations in the public sector. It tells us:

Data specialists Gartner predict data volumes will sky-rocket by 800 per cent over the next five years and up to 80 per cent of it will be unstructured. That means a vast collection of web pages, legal documents, medical records, images and the like churned out by individuals, institutions and businesses every second that nobody ever bothers to look at. IDC estimates that less than 1 per cent of the world’s data is ever analysed.

In the big data universe of the future, the biggest threat to traditional democratic values is the collapse of truthful political discourse says Futurologist, Dr James Bellini.

And herein lies the danger: as French law professor Jean-Sylvestre Bergé puts it, the DataSphere is offered up as a benign, politically neutral “holistic comprehension of all the information existing on Earth”. But it is nothing of the sort; it is a new space that invades every corner of daily life, poses challenges to good governance and increasingly conflicts with public administration. It is the world’s newest frontier, without formal controls, management or regulation: Big Brother meets the Wild West.

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