Data-driven insights powered by SAS help the Abu Dhabi Early Childhood Authority support child well-being, health and education initiatives for a better tomorrow
Innovation keeps the world alive. Whether through evolutions in medical science, art or music, it keeps people healthy and happy. So providing younger generations now with the tools to create a better, more colorful future is crucial. When children – and their parents – are supported early, they can achieve a better quality of life as adults.
In Abu Dhabi, they are using data to ensure children grow up healthy, educated, and prepared to both advance and enhance life in Abu Dhabi. The city’s vision for 2035 is to make sure every young child is healthy, confident, curious, and able to learn and develop strong values in a safe, family-friendly Abu Dhabi.
The Abu Dhabi Early Childhood Authority (ECA) is an agency that supports government partners to help all of Abu Dhabi’s young children flourish. In collaboration with SAS, the ECA launched its Abu Dhabi Child Insights System Program to reach that goal. The program is the first of its kind in the Middle East to collect cross-sectional government data to create data-driven insights that lead to better policies and positive social impacts.
The ECA aims to help all of Abu Dhabi’s young children, starting with parental support during the early stages of pregnancy and continuing until the age of 8. It also promotes children’s rights to live in safe, healthy and nurturing environments, and helps parents gain confidence raising their children. To do so, the ECA focuses on four areas: health and nutrition, child protection, family support, and early education and care.
It’s our duty to make sure that our next generation grows up as healthy, educated and contributing citizens and residents of Abu Dhabi. These children will take the nation forward in the next 50 years. Dr. Yousef Al Hammadi Executive Director of Knowledge and Impact Sector Abu Dhabi Early Childhood Authority
Vital insights for meaningful action
The ECA has identified several of the challenges affecting Abu Dhabi’s young children. It’s also clear that well-being issues in one area often have root causes hidden in other areas. This requires the ECA to look across multiple sectors to find the necessary insights that will help social policymakers and government agency partners drive targeted interventions to the right areas.
Creating this 360-degree view established an integrated, cross-sector data hub that analyzes data from different areas together. The hub enables the ECA to understand the root causes of challenges to the physical, emotional and mental growth of children in Abu Dhabi.
The ECA has identified the data of interest in each area based on actions approved by its leadership. Using advanced analytics and data management capabilities from SAS, the ECA implemented a series of data integration, data transformation and data quality routines to create cross-sector data marts. The data marts then can narrow the data to very specific groups, allowing the ECA to find critical insights much faster than searching a data warehouse. The platform runs on SAS Viya, then inputs the data into the child data hub, providing up-to-date insights using machine learning, expert modeling and explainable artificial intelligence techniques.
Abu Dhabi Early Childhood Authority – Facts & Figures
notable data points from multiple government agencies
children enrolled with the highest level of data privacy
additional use cases will be addressed in the future
Data management produces multiple benefits
The final step in the process is creating easy-to-understand graphs. The data visualization aspect is crucial because the ECA presents its insights to social policymakers who make funding decisions for its program.
Those data-driven insights are also used to improve child well-being. With SAS solutions in place, the ECA can analyze data to identify the challenges facing children and take action to help them. The agency has compiled over 1,000 notable data points for more than 350,000 children, all while ensuring the highest level of data privacy.
Looking ahead, the ECA and SAS aim to address more than 20 use cases, including childhood obesity and child protection, to guide sustainable interventions through data analysis, innovation and collaboration.
“We must make sure that the next generation grows up healthy, educated and contributes as citizens and residents to the city of Abu Dhabi,” says Dr. Yousef Al Hammadi, Executive Director of Knowledge and Impact Sector of the EAC. “These young children will take the nation forward in the next 50 years.”