The buzz surrounding big data has taken shape in various theoretical and practical forms when it comes to policymaking. The paper combines current research streams with long-standing discussions on government and technology in public policy and public administration, such as e-government and evidence-based policymaking. The goal is to answer the question whether big data is a fleeting trend or has long-lasting effects on policymaking. Three larger themes in the literature are identified: First, the role that institutional capacity has within government to utilize big data analytics; second, government use of big data analytics in the context of digital public services; and finally, the way that big data information enters the policy cycle, focusing on substantive and procedural policy instruments. Examples from the education, crisis management, environmental and healthcare domain highlight the opportunities and challenges for each of these themes. Exploring the various aspects of big data and policymaking shows that big data is here to stay, but that its utilization by government will take time due to institutional barriers and capacity bottlenecks.
Policy Sciences – Springer Journals
Published: Aug 8, 2017
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