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Before the Mining Begins: An Enquiry into the Data for Performance Measurement in the Public Sector

Before the Mining Begins: An Enquiry into the Data for Performance Measurement in the Public Sector
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Author(s): Dries Verlet (Ghent University, Belgium) and Carl Devos (Ghent University, Belgium)
Copyright: 2010
Pages: 20
Source title: Data Mining in Public and Private Sectors: Organizational and Government Applications
Source Author(s)/Editor(s): Antti Syvajarvi (University of Lapland, Finland) and Jari Stenvall (Tampere University, Finland)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-906-9.ch001

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Abstract

Although policy evaluation has always been important, today there is a rising attention for policy evaluation in the public sector. In order to provide a solid base for the so-called evidence-based policy, valid en reliable data are needed to depict the performance of organisations within the public sector. Without a solid empirical base, one needs to be very careful with data mining in the public sector. When measuring performance, several unintended and negative effects can occur. In this chapter, the authors focus on a few common pitfalls that occur when measuring performance in the public sector. They also discuss possible strategies to prevent them by setting up and adjusting the right measurement systems for performance in the public sector. Data mining is about knowledge discovery. The question is: what do we want to know? What are the consequences of asking that question?

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