Data mining of Census to help govt in planning

Last Updated: Sun, Dec 30, 2012 20:21 hrs

Data mining, till now associated more with the corporate world, is now being uttered by the government to target the right group of people. The government is planning to use the data, secured through the Census of India 2011 pertaining to Karnataka, for specifically targeting geographies where people's needs are most acute and the geographies that need focus. This helps to more accurately target the beneficiaries, said a senior official.

Data mining is a powerful new technology with potential to help companies focus on the most important information in the data they have collected about the behaviour of their customers and potential customers. It discovers information within the data that queries and reports can't effectively reveal.

The availability of banking services too is an indication of where the government needs to look when it talks of financial inclusion. With direct cash transfer set to be implemented in many parts of the country from next year, and gradually across the country, it is easy to know which places lack or are deficient in banking reach.

According to the Census 2011 on Housing, Household Amenities and Assets, while Udupi, probably because of its historically-strong banking industry, has 93.7 per cent of its households availing of banking services, in Chamarajanagar district near Mysore, it’s as low as 34.8 per cent. “It would take quite an effort to increase coverage here,” a government official said.

The other districts whose data on banking should be a cause for concern include Yadgir in north Karnataka with a reach of just 39 per cent; Ramanagara near Bangalore with just 39 per cent and Tumkur where 49.2 per cent of households are covered. “This helps the government understand consumer behaviour too and plan accordingly,” he said.

The distribution of households by the availability of latrines; piped sewer system; septic tank clearing of night soil among such other data helps the government know where exactly it needs to look for when wanting to improve health and families’ welfare.

The type of fuel used for cooking too is a development parameter. For instance, in Yadgir, 86.6 per cent of households use firewood, which probably is an indication of the extent of poverty and poor reach of LPG connections. The usage of LPG, meanwhile, is the highest in Bangalore at 75.3 per cent.

In Karnataka, 71.6 per cent of the state's population has a telephone connection, both mobile and landline. “Karnataka has seen a rapid increase in telephone density. It has risen from 12.8 per cent of the population to 71.6 per cent,” says the data report.

Urban Karnataka has an impressive 84.8 per cent of its population connected via telephone when it was only 26.1 per cent in 2001. Rural Karnataka on Sunday has 62.6 per cent of the population having a telephone connection on Sunday compared with just 5.7 per cent of the households connected on phone.

The TV density has risen from 37 per cent of the population to 60 per cent.

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