The terms “big data” and “analytics” are often thrown around by large organisations, particularly with an emphasis on how analysis of customer behaviour can lead to a better experience for consumers.
However, analysing big data can lead to much more than just a discount voucher for a tin of beans, with governments increasingly turning to analytics in the fight against fraud, for example.
A recent report by analytics provider SAS argued the government could retrieve much of the £20bn it loses through such activities as tax evasion and benefit fraud by properly harnessing big data. “Wherever analytics is brought to bear, you either find what you would have found already much quicker, or you find things that would not otherwise have been detectable by a human,” Simon Dennis, central government director at SAS, told Computing. “A computer can look at big data and find something that looks interesting, or a pattern that a human couldn’t see.”