Powerful though it may be, the UK government readily admits that it's unable to complete even "simple tasks" that require the sharing of data between different departments. Part of the problem, it claims, is down to the various databases that each government department controls. Because there's no complete picture of what's going on, no-one can act swiftly enough to fix a problem before it takes hold. Back in April, however, the cabinet's data sharing policy team proposed a plan that would see local authorities, emergency services, schools and government departments merge all of their databases. The resulting information could then be mined "big data" style to provide more accurate information for policymakers and target help towards those in need.