Call for Application: Training on Quantitative and Qualitative Research Skills
May 27, 2019

Report – How can data support business in Nepal?

Partner: Facts Research & Analytics 

Link: Highlights report and Full report 

To better understand how open data can support business in Nepal, the D4D program supported FACTS Research & Analytics to conduct a study into the need, use and sharing of data by Nepal’s private sector.

The world over, data has become foundation for private sector efficiency, effectiveness, innovation and growth. In many countries, data is helping businesses to improve their operations, innovate new products and services, and make other informed decisions about their business. However, until now, little has been known about whether and how data is being used by businesses in Nepal. In 2019, with support from the D4D program, FACTS Research & Analytics undertook a study to examine the data needs of businesses, how they are using data, and the willingness of businesses to share data. They also identified core challenges faced by businesses in using data and documented examples of data driven businesses emerging in Nepal.

The study followed mixed method approach, using qualitative and qualitative methodologies along with literature review. A quantitative survey looked at 135 businesses from a cross-section of industrial sectors located in Nepal’s major industrial hubs in 10 districts. Key informant interviews and focus group discussions were conducted with various business leaders and commentators. Two reports were generated – a detailed report on the study and a summary report of key findings.

The study found that data, particularly government data, is considered to be of high importance by Nepali businesses irrespective of their scale, sector, or type of organisation. However, just half of them actually use government data, citing a range of accessibility and usability challenges that are preventing this. While businesses in Nepal are using data for a wide range of purposes, there are still many businesses who are not using data in their decisions and operations. Businesses in Nepal reported mixed levels of confidence in their capacity to use data effectively to drive business decisions.

Open data is a less familiar concept to Nepali businesses. Despite the significant potential economic value documented in research and beginning to be realized in other countries, the availability of open data to Nepal’s businesses, their use of open data and their sharing of open data has been very limited. Many business actors, however, expressed keen interest in the concept of open data and in collaborating with efforts to promote the further sharing and use of data. In addition, there are emerging examples of initiatives that are building their business models around the use and provision of open data.

The highlights report can be accessed here.

The full report can be accessed here.