Governments collect a large amount of data. But how can they rid of biases and analyse the issue to improve service delivery?

Through better use of rainfall analysis, Singapore’s National Environment Agency managed to improve planning for cleaning services in the city. The team started the project – called the Waterway Problem – with the idea that higher rainfall led to more rubbish accumulating in waterways.

But they soon realised they were wrong. In fact, the data showed that heavy rain effectively cleared out more trash. “By correlating two datasets (i.e. rainfall and feedback), new insights can be drawn which might result in greater operational effectiveness”, the team wrote in a statement.

The agency was then “able to identify the optimal time to deploy waterway cleaners”, it added, which “led to fewer feedback received, higher customer satisfaction and better deployment”.

This also helps coordinate the NEA’s work with other agencies. PUB, the country’s National Water Agency can cut their inspection rounds if there is a lower rate of litter in canals.

GovInsider awarded the team the best use of data at Innovation Labs World, for the impact it had on service delivery.

Innovation Labs World is a festival of public service innovation organised by GovInsider. It was held on 27 September in Singapore.