The report “Harnessing the Potential of Big Data in Post-Pandemic Southeast Asia” said big data holds immense potential in fast-tracking post-COVID-19 economic recovery in Southeast Asia, with benefits in public health, social welfare and protection, and education.
It finds that that the use of digital technologies to provide personalised and remote learning and job matching can contribute an estimated 77.1 billion USD annually to the gross domestic produc (GDP) of Southeast Asian countries by 2030.
According to the report, the use of analytics to direct highly targeted health interventions for at-risk populations can lead to an estimated 15.5-billion-USD increase in GDP across the region by 2030.
Remote monitoring systems can bring 9.4 billion USD in annual cost savings to the health care system in Southeast Asia by 2030 through fewer hospital visits, shorter hospital stays, and medical procedures, it said.
According to the report, big data can improve the delivery of government services and speed up post-COVID-19 recovery.
However, it cautions that unlocking the potential of big data in public service delivery will require governments to lay the strategic and technical groundwork to maximise the opportunities of big data and mitigate its risks, including protection for data privacy, fraud, and cybersecurity.
This is the final of four reports from a regional study that was completed in 2021 and funded by ADB’s technical assistance on COVID-19 economic recovery policy advice in Southeast Asia.
Elaine Tan, ADB advisor and head of economic research and regional cooperation department’s statistics and data innovation, said that to ensure that governments can come up with timely policies, especially in challenging environment at present, they can leverage data collected from their agencies.
Speaking at a webinar held by the ADB to release the report, Tan noted that to determine a policy or programme, a government should make the decision based on the aggregated data derived from a sum of individual behaviours, instead of just focusing on an individual behaviour alone.