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Policy analysis and policy analytics

Daniell, Katherine A. and Morton, Alec and Rios Insua, David (2016) Policy analysis and policy analytics. Annals of Operations Research, 236 (1). pp. 1-13. ISSN 0254-5330

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Abstract

Working from a description of what policy analysis entails, we review the emergence of the recent field of analytics and how it may impact public policy making. In particular, we seek to expose current applications of, and future possibilities for, new analytic methods that can be used to support public policy problem-solving and decision processes, which we term policy analytics. We then review key contributions to this special volume, which seek to support policy making or delivery in the areas of energy planning, urban transportation planning, medical emergency planning, healthcare, social services, national security, defence, government finance allocation, understanding public opinion, and fire and police services. An identified challenge, which is specific to policy analytics, is to recognize that public sector applications must balance the need for robust and convincing analysis with the need for satisfying legitimate public expectations about transparency and opportunities for participation. This opens up a range of forms of analysis relevant to public policy distinct from those most common in business, including those that can support democratization and mediation of value conflicts within policy processes. We conclude by identifying some potential research and development issues for the emerging field of policy analytics.