Dr. Michael Owusu, Chief Operating Officer of the KGL Group, has urged Ghana to embrace IT for data dissemination.
He said data dissemination ensures that relevant data and information are widely available and accessible to the public and this can help with many things, such as improved transparency, well-informed decision-making, and better-quality accountability at all levels.
Dr. Owusu revealed that Information Technology (IT) has profoundly impacted data dissemination in Ghana and has revolutionized the way information is shared and accessed by the general public. He further said the IT sector has simplified the data dissemination process and with the extensive acceptance of technology in Ghana, IT has become an important tool for disseminating data and information, making things easier to access, enhancing transparency, and promoting accountability in various sectors such as health, science, education, infrastructure, and more.
Speaking about the benefits of IT in data dissemination, the IT and Telecommunication expert noted that the use of digital platforms such as websites, social media, and mobile apps has made it easier for the public to access and share data and information.
“They don’t have to rely on conventional modes of telecommunication to access and share information. For example, the Open Data Platform provides access to various datasets on topics such as education, health, and finance. People looking for information related to these sectors can easily get their hands on what they need.” He added
He said that Information Technology has also augmented the accuracy and timeliness of data dissemination in Ghana and with advanced technological innovation, data can be captured, processed, and examined in real-time, reducing the risk of mistakes and providing current information to the public.
“The chances of getting the wrong information and spreading it have now been minimized because of the IT sector. This is particularly important in critical sectors such as health, where timely and accurate information can significantly impact public health outcomes. Otherwise, there could be serious consequences that both the government and the general public have to endure”
On the issue of how it has improved transparency and accountability, Dr. Owusu explained that IT has also contributed to the transparency and accountability of data dissemination. This is because digital platforms allow for greater collaboration and communication between stakeholders, which can enhance transparency and endorse accountability in disseminating data and information. For example, popular social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook allow the public to engage with the government and hold it accountable for its decisions and actions.
Moreover, Ghanaians can get the latest updates from the government’s official social media accounts and trust the information with a blind eye.
“Another area where IT has significantly impacted data dissemination in Ghana is education. With the extensive availability of digital devices such as laptops, smartphones, and tablets, students and teachers can access a wealth of information and resources to support their learning and teaching.
For example, e-learning platforms such as Coursera and Udemy provide access to online courses on various subjects, while educational apps such as Khan Academy offer interactive and engaging learning experiences. Likewise, there are plenty of other useful resources that Ghanaians can use to hone their academic skills.
Aside from the education sector, IT has also played a key role in data dissemination in the business sector. It has done so by facilitating information sharing between companies and other stakeholders.
The use of cloud-based platforms and enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems have made it easier for businesses to share information with suppliers, customers, and other stakeholders, improving collaboration and communication. They can streamline their business operations by getting timely updates and requests.” Dr Owusu noted.
He said the health sector has also benefited from how Information technology has deeply influenced data distribution in the health sector by supplementing the analysis, collection, and delivery of health-related information.
He further said the use of electronic health records has made it easier for healthcare providers to collect and share patient data, reducing the risk of errors and improving the quality of care. Also, telemedicine and telehealth technologies have made it possible for patients to access medical care from a distance, reducing the need for travel and improving access to care in remote areas.
Speaking about the challenges despite the numerous benefits, he said there’s no doubt that information technology has had an immensely important impact when it comes to talking about data dissemination. Nevertheless, while IT has the potential to revolutionize data distribution in Ghana, some challenges need to be addressed in the first place and one of the key challenges is the lack of infrastructure and access to technology, which can limit the dissemination of data and information to certain population segments.
He further revealed that there is a need to address problems such as data privacy and security and ensure that the data and information being disseminated are accurate and reliable. Hurdles to successful data dissemination should be removed to make the most of available information.
“The widespread adoption of IT in data dissemination can revolutionize the way information is shared and accessed by the public in Ghana. By improving the ease of access to information, accuracy and timeliness of data, and transparency and accountability in the dissemination process, IT can contribute to the country’s development and support informed decision-making. However, addressing the challenges associated with IT in data dissemination, such as the lack of infrastructure and access to technology, as well as data privacy and security, will be crucial in realizing the full potential of IT in this area. He added.