Developments and innovations in information technologies have rapidly emerged worldwide with the advancement of big data’s sweeping informatization wave. This trend has allowed governments to transform many of their functions and has led to administrative reforms in multiple countries. Big data is now more than huge amounts of data or a type of data processing technology; it is also an original way of thinking. It is a tool as well as the next step in informatization evolution.
Government departments need to strengthen their information resource coordination and allocation; enhance the collection and integration of information resources, integration analysis, and service applications; as well as build data sharing and application protocols, so their social administrative capabilities and public services can experience considerable improvements.
Lanzhou New Area (LNA) is a new state-level administrative zone under the direct control of Lanzhou’s municipal government in Gansu province. Approved by China’s Central State Council, this area is intended to become a key example of successful industrial transition that is highly valued on a national level. It will encourage and attract new development in China’s western region, an important industrial base, and open up industry to western China and international trade.
Under the leadership of the LNA work committee of the Chinese Communist Party (CPC) and the Administration Council of Lanzhou New Area (ACLNA), the Lanzhou New Area Science & Technology Culture Tourism Group and its wholly-owned subsidiary, Lanzhou Data Investment, have established a unified platform to share information between departments, promote open and shared government data, and stimulate government management reform and economic and social transformation. The big data platform will connect information silos and achieve inter-city interconnection so data will be advantageous for the area’s citizens.
Previously, governmental information systems had been isolated by department, so more than 80 percent of information resources could not be shared. Limited benefits were provided to citizens, and information resources were underdeveloped and underutilized due to the lack of a public support platform. The security assurance system that existed did not meet the government’s centralization, data sharing, and collaboration requirements, which prompted the CPC and ACLNA’s LNA work committee to set the following informatization goals:
1. Government information resources must be open and shared between departments, regions, levels, systems, and services to support each organization and form a full-process, full-coverage, full-mode, and full-response urban ecosystem with intelligent management and services.
2. Construct a complete, well-structured platform for government information resources. The platform must first establish a catalog system, followed by an improved standard method that optimizes rules and regulations, and, finally, an evaluation, assessment, and security review process.
3. The information resource system must be compatible with the unified, state-level e-Government network and be able to interconnect with the nationwide, shared open platform.
4. Build a flexible, open big data service-support platform that implements data collection, storage, analysis and computing, data resource management, and services for various government data resources. This platform must support public information resource sharing, integration, and services.
Huawei was selected to build an e-Government big data sharing and exchange platform that featured data resource services, big data applications, and robust information resource standards. The overall architecture of the e-Government big data project is as follows.
1. Build a security assurance system for the LNA e-Government big data sharing and exchange platform. The platform leverages log auditing, operation monitoring, intelligent O&M, and quality management to ensure secure and reliable e-Government services.
2. Deploy data governance tools to implement processing and cleaning, collection and association integration, quality evaluation and standard conversion, and quality cleaning.
3. Establish a data model based on the existing government logic data model; construct the city’s data resource library, data buffer, integration area (basic database), and databases (theme, historical, and unstructured); import inventory data, plus import incremental data to the database through the automatic scheduling process.
The Lanzhou New Area Science & Technology Culture Tourism Group and the Lanzhou Data Investment played a major role in the construction of this project. The quality and efficiency of service-oriented government systems underwent considerable improvements; and important strategic value to the LNA was delivered through digital informatization and transformation. Specifically, this project’s achievements were:
1. Integration and security management of government informatization resources.
The project used cloud computing to virtualize resources, and dynamically scale features and resources on-demand to provide computing, storage, and information resource services for all LNA departments. It centrally deployed software and hardware, unified construction, resource, and information sharing. Repeated investment in software and hardware as well as duplicated data collection and entry was avoided by centralized resource achievement at multiple levels. Due to the centralized, standard management and maintenance of core service systems and service data as well as management and monitoring in the security mechanism, the informatization system can now be effectively controlled and secured.
2. Government and citizens are well-served with beneficial information. The LNA information infrastructure platform has comprehensive information resource service capabilities and provides these services to the government and its citizens. Based on this platform, a subsequent data resource sharing and exchange platform was established to facilitate rapid information queries, information release processes, and e-Government services that allows collected information to serve citizens.
3. Improved government efficiency and office quality reduce administrative operating costs. Compared with traditional government bureaucracy, e-Government services based on a public information platform save financial, material, and human resources, reduce administrative expenses, improve feedback collection, and decrease overall government management costs. This simplifies traditionally complicated procedures, saves enterprises and individuals time, and fundamentally advances government offices from administration centers to service centers. In addition, it helps citizens and enterprises increase productivity, improving all sectors’ economic output.
4. Strengthened communication between individuals, enterprises, and governments. Government information releases and information resource integration are hosted on websites, so information is open and transparent. Through these websites citizens can supervise and comment on government public administration and services, as well as submit suggestions on policy. Through the public resource sharing and exchange platform, various applications are now fast and convenient to complete. This decreases transaction-processing times and increases efficiency. Government departments can manage public affairs through the resource sharing and exchange platform to further enhance government transparency, improve the government’s image, and enhance confidence in government work.
5. Promoted economic organizations and operation mechanisms reform. As information resources are integrated, information resource databases are created for fast and easy access to accurate data. This widens the breadth and depth of information management, improves administrative operations efficiency, and allows the government to follow a more scientific decision-making process.