Tax Office to overhaul data and analytics strategy

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Tax Office to overhaul data and analytics strategy

Whole-of-gov buying scheme on way.

The ATO plans to next year commence a data and analytics program designed to better target taxpayer services and more easily identify fraudulent activity.

The 'smarter data program' forms part of the ATO’s corporate plan for 2014 to 2018, which also includes a focus on increased automation, aimed at reducing costs and working more closely and collaboratively with fellow agencies such as the Department of Human Services.

The new push will be backed by a soon-to-be established whole-of-government muti-use list made up of pre-approved vendors of analytics tools and services.

A request for applications to be part of the procurement scheme will be released early in January 2015. 

“We want to cast a wide net for submissions so that we can identify the service providers that will best meet our requirements,” a spokesperson for the ATO said.

The agency is working to identify improvements to existing data acquisition and exchange processes and also test new capabilities for storing, profiling and registering data. It hopes the new capabilities will enhance data mining and analytics as well as enable real time risk profiling and the ability to identify and respond to non-compliance.

The agency has established an on-premise research and development (RAD) sandpit for testing solutions prior to deployment in production environment.

“This will allow us to test software and identify the business benefits seamlessly. We will consider all viable possibilities including cloud-based solutions and niche suppliers," the spokesperson said.

The future-state functional specifications include three data hubs: an information hub for metadata and governance; one to organise structured and unstructured data; and an analytics hub that will provide high performance computation capability for diagnostic, descriptive and predictive analytics capabilities.

The end solution will make use of data from other agencies and external sources to validate customer information. 

“We want to be smarter with data and this initiative aligns with the ATO’s strategic plan to build capability within the organisation,” the spokesperson said.

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