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Administrative and Operational Data
Administrative Data is data collected routinely by governments or other organisations for registrations, transactions and record-keeping (Wikipedia). Administrative Data can be considered a specific type of Operational Data. Operational Data is all data collected and processed to enable service delivery and operational activities of the organisation or government administration services. Although initially collected for operational purposes, these types of data also offer great potential when reused for management reporting, data-analysis and data supported policy making.
Privacy and data protection regulations must be taken into account when reusing operational data for other purposes. While collecting the data, asking for permission and clear statements on conditions of potential reuse are recommended and often mandatory.
A good understanding of the initial data collection proces, documentation of the data quality, accuracy and coverage and insights the operational data lifecycle are important to ensure qualitative and reliable reporting and analysis results.
The reuse of Administrative and Operational Data requires data from production databases, since these data stores contain the most up-to-date state of the data. Obtaining this data for reuse is often the most important challenge. Data in production databases might need additional cleansing and transformation. Operational datastructures are not necessarily suited for reporting and analytics. Complex analyses and statistical queries executed directly on production databases can cause stability or performance risks and data locks can raise concurrency problems. To really unlock the potential of Administative and Operational Data, organisations should consider more adequate solutions such as data warehouses, data lakes or data virtualization, depending on the specific needs and objectives.
Besides these technical solutions organisations also need to take data governance measures to enable the reuse of operational data. The use of reference datasets and master datasets is crucial to integrate data from multiple operational systems, both for analytical as for other operational purposes. Also linking and sharing data between systems should be a basic data principle that needs to be considered already by design of the operational systems.