The Strategic Value of Public Sector Analytics: A Framework and a Showcase Study
The public value of information technology has received increasing attention in recent years. While most research focuses on mediating e-government technologies, we investigate the strategic value of big data and analytics in public sector decision-making. Using the strategic triangle of value, legitimacy, and operational capacity as a starting point, we derive a framework to assess the strategic value of public sector analytics, along with six guiding questions that structure the assessment process. We apply the framework to an illustrative example of a spatial analytics application developed to optimize strategic investments in urban electric vehicle charging infrastructure. While our results show that analytics helps cities to manage the trade-off between economic and ecological value more efficiently, we also discuss other types of public value, such as health and social equity. We further outline how analytics may improve the legitimacy of public sector decisionmaking through transparency and objective, data-driven criteria. As a final point, we suggest that collaborations with academia to create lightweight analytics applications may aid in strengthening organizational readiness for the use of big data and analytics in public sector organizations.