Big Data and public services

It’s great to see Mastodon C (BGV 2012) get some profile for their big data work in the Economist this week. The prescription statins project is one they did jointly with Ben Goldacre, Open Health Care UK and the newly launched Open Data Institute where the team are now based. It didn’t take long for them to find that the NHS was wasting huge amounts (£200 million in this case) and with no justification other than inertia.

The more I’ve looked at it the more I’ve come to realise the potential for this stuff is enormous — and not just in the NHS. I’m not giving away any secrets by telling you that the data set in this case was actually pretty straightforward compared to the complexity the team can deal with. The public sector used to have to pay a fortune to the big consultancies for this type of advice and so it wasn’t done very often but it’s now much easier (and cheaper) because of the technology available and analysis that Mastodon C can do.

So if you work in public services and would like to explore the kinds of cost saving that the Economist article shows, I’d definitely encourage you to get in touch with Fran and Bruce.

Image: Some rights reserved by AJC1.
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