Big Government Push For South Africa’s Data And Analytics Landscape


The total amount of data created and consumed globally is projected to grow to more than 180 zettabytes by 2025, almost three times the 64 zettabytes of 2020. This makes data the cornerstone of any successful business in a digitally-transformed world. Several trends will help guide organisations on their path to becoming more data-driven.

South Africa has seen a marked increase in organisations using data and analytics to gain insights into their businesses. Analytics is becoming increasingly prevalent to uncover hidden correlations, identify trends, and create predictive models. This opens up new opportunities for companies to gain a competitive advantage and stay ahead in the market. Examples of such applications include predictive analytics to identify consumer trends and develop targeted marketing campaigns or machine learning to detect fraudulent activities.

Big Trends

South Africa’s data ecosystem is undergoing a major transformation. The country is seeing increased data-driven businesses, data-centric government policies, and a growing data infrastructure.

South African corporations are investing heavily in digital transformation in order to take advantage of the power of AI, machine learning, and data. To compete with the allure of global tech companies, these businesses must focus on building and nurturing tech talent, creating innovative ways to attract, develop, and retain a skilled and mobile workforce.

Increase in data-centric government policies

Businesses that can make data-driven decisions more often than not boast of better customer service, increased revenue, and improved efficiency.

To further support the growth of data-driven businesses, the South African government has launched the Data-driven Economy Program, which provides funding to help businesses adopt data-driven strategies.

The South African government also looks at creating a more efficient public sector. One of the most notable policies is the Open Data Initiative, which encourages government departments to make the data they collect and process available to the public in an open format. This gives citizens better access to information and holds their government accountable for its decisions. By making information more accessible, the Open Data Initiative has improved public service delivery, increased transparency, and greater accountability.

The South African government has taken steps to ensure the responsible management of data by adopting the National Data Management Policy, which outlines the principles and standards for data management. This policy includes data privacy and security requirements, as well as the availability of public data sets. Additionally, the government has implemented its Data Analytics Strategy, which promotes using data-driven insights to improve public services. By implementing these policies, South Africa can responsibly manage its data to serve its citizens better. Furthermore, the data-focused initiatives have enabled the government to increase efficiency, improve transparency, and better understand its citizens’ needs.

Growing data infrastructure

Data infrastructure is becoming more important than ever with the increasing digitalisation of the economy and the rise of ecommerce. To meet these needs, the South African government has made significant investments in data infrastructure. It is taking steps to ensure that the country can build and maintain a robust data infrastructure in the future.

The government has taken a proactive stance on modernising its data infrastructure, installing fibre-optic cables, satellite networks, data centres, creating frameworks and standards for security and reliability. To increase the country’s data storage and usage capacity, the Data Centre Development Fund has been established to provide financial support to companies constructing data centres. The government has also launched the National Data Infrastructure Upgrading Programme to ensure the data infrastructure is up-to-date, in addition to investing in developing new technologies and networks to enable the growth of ecommerce. These initiatives are paving the way for South Africa to build a secure and reliable national data infrastructure that can accommodate the needs of the digital economy.

To know more about how you can grow the data-driven business, register for the region’s only Data and Analytics summit – Velocity, taking place on 7-8 March 2023.