WUHAN — While some big data theories are still in the process of being tested, government departments in China are eager to put the concept into practice.
This week, the country’s first provincial market entity data analytic system was launched in central Hubei after a year in the making and another two-month test run.
The provincial industrial and commercial administration has accumulated tons of company information, law enforcement records, market monitoring reports, consumers’ complaints over the years. But those data were like isolated islands, once documented, they were stored in office computers and soon forgotten.
“Take consumers’ complaints for example, we used to address them individually, and documented separately, until the ‘big data’ system put them together to tap the potential value in reader-friendly charts,” said Shen Jun, vice director of the administration’s information center.
The consumers’ complaints section of the system alerted them of more than 10 different sources reporting the same cosmetics company for fraud in two months from May to June.
“We reacted by setting up an investigation team targeting at the company,” Shen said.
The other three sections in the system are subject registration, administrative law enforcement and market supervision, with detailed columns under each item. A user can browse various key indicators collected from all the areas in the province, and search for detailed data, extract them and make convenient tables and charts.
“During the test run and in-house training, we were frequently taught to click more. Some colleagues were surprised by analysis charts they made themselves,” Shen said. “The system stimulates our creativity by offering us a tool for comprehensive inquiry and free analysis.”
Industrial and commercial data already must be uploaded and networked province-wide. But Shen Zhiliang, chief analyst with Wuhan-based Dameng Database Co., said accumulation of data does not equal big data. “Data are (Source: china.org.cn) dead if we fail to dig useful conclusions and trends out of them.”
“Development of big data theory and innovation of advanced data mining techniques make it possible for regulators to use big data in their daily work,” Shen said.
An office clerk said every year-end the administration will hand in an analysis report on market entities to the provincial government, which usually takes nearly a month to complete. But with the new big data system, most parts of the report can be generated automatically in less than a minute.
“The new system saves us time doing routine work, so we can focus on cultivating promising market entities and adjusting industrial structure,” the clerk said.
For market regulators, the system offers a more intuitive overview of the type, structure and distribution of markets at all levels in the province. More importantly, enterprises that exhibit abnormal operating conditions can be accurately positioned in a short time.
“We are more able to issue early warnings to potential consumers and target related companies with the assistance of the new system,” an official from the administration said.
On July 1, the State Council, China’s cabinet, released guidelines to strengthen services and supervision on market entities through big data. Under the drive, Chinese regulators are encouraged to improve their services and supervision efficiency.
Specifically, the China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC) was required to support financial institutions in big data application when serving enterprises. Banks, security firms, trusts management companies, finance leasing operators, insurers and industry associations are called on to expedite the development of bid data industry.
On July 2, just one day after the State Council’s circular, the Supreme People’s Court (SPC) announced that all Chinese non-military courts are linked to a “judicial big data center”, which means Chinese citizens can now look up information on trials, verdicts and implementation of court decisions online.
The system also links courts across the country with government branches and banks, facilitating inquiries and freezing of accounts that belong to those who default on court decisions, the SPC said.
Currently, several government delegates from other provinces are visiting and learning of Hubei’s experience in big data. More analytic systems are expected to be launched in other parts of China in the near future.