Expert Opinion


Malaysia’s Chief Statistician working on developing Data Analytics Lab to build knowledge capacity within Government

Malaysia’s public sector is working hard to embrace potential opportunities posed by data analytics. With the right tools and skills, agencies may use big data insights to effectively improve their service delivery and operations.

The Department of Statistics was recently honoured with the OpenGov Excellence Awards for Excellence in Analytics Service Partnership and Excellence in Analytics Employee Innovation. They are one of the leading public sector organisations in Malaysia, looking to embrace data analytics solutions to better service delivery to citizens.

OpenGov recently caught up with Malaysia’s Chief Statistician YBhg. Datuk Dr. Hj. Abdul Rahman Hasan, to discuss what he plans to do in order to embrace data analytics in the near future.

“This year, our main focus beyond routine reporting is to conduct an economic census,” said Dr. Hj. Abdul Rahman Hasan, “We are looking to also beef up our data warehouse for data analytics processes and more.”

Approaching Data Analytics

For much of government, data analytics is a new territory. But as we have seen, many are keen to learn more about its benefits and what they must do to extract intelligent insights.

“Data Analytics is a new project for us, the first step is to put all of our data on the same platform,” Dr. Hj. Abdul Rahman Hasan stated, “After that, we can use all of the tools to perform predictions, data mining, and so forth. Previous to this, data from surveys has been sitting in silos, then we cannot draw the same value from it.”

One of the greatest challenges for agencies is overcoming the trouble cause by datasets sitting in silos. To anyone that wants to truly embrace big data, they must overcome this and then come up with a strategy to standardise.

“We must then do data profiling to make sure that these data sets meet your standards,” said Dr. Hj. Abdul Rahman Hasan.

In building its knowledge capacity, the Department of Statistics will be working towards creating a data analytics lab for other agencies to visit and collaborate in.

“Data analytics is new, not just to us, but to all of government,” exclaimed Dr. Hj. Abdul Rahman Hasan, “We hope to champion data analytics so that we can open our doors to other departments and they can learn from us.”

With this, they will emerge as leaders in data analytics expertise and create more valuable reporting tools through inter-agency cooperation.

“We are just embarking on the journey towards integrating data analytics. We look forward to all of the insights it will offer us,” Dr. Hj. Abdul Rahman Hasan told us.

Opening a Data Analytics Lab

Dr. Hj. Abdul Rahman Hasan told us that he is looking forward to opening a data analytics lab by June of this year. This lab is to be used within his department in order to capitalise on the benefits of big data.

“I hope that by June this year, we can have a data analytics lab open to the other government agencies,” announced Dr. Hj. Abdul Rahman Hasan “We have already started to share data with the universities and moving forward we hope to share this with others.”

This Data Analytics Lab represents the future of statistical questioning and reporting for the Department of Statistics. To prepare for its launch, Dr. Hj. Abdul Rahman Hasan will take the necessary steps to get staff accustomed to the tools and skills they will work with.

“To prepare for this, we have our own planning institute and have sent some representatives overseas for training,” Dr. Hj. Abdul Rahman Hasan told us.

With the introduction of this lab, the Department of Statistics will be able to create new reporting processes and statistical measures. Dr. Hj. Abdul Rahman Hasan said that he plans to introduce a new statistic through Automatic Data Processing.

“We have a project with Automatic Data Processing to build a system which can trade data and link big data with other institutions to come up with a new statistic,” said Dr. Hj. Abdul Rahman Hasan.


Dr. Hj. Abdul Rahman Hasan is looking very much forward to the creation of the Data Analytics Lab and emphasised his eagerness to collaborate with other government agencies in the process.

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