The volume of data recorded about our lives is increasing exponentially yet we are not getting any closer to the holy grail of evidence-based policy.
We need to cut through the ‘white noise’ of unanalysed data and work out how together we can harness its power. This will require a people-centred approach that recognises data only has value when it is used to solve problems.
This coming March the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) and the Australia and New Zealand School of Government (ANZSOG) will co-host a conference to get a broader understanding of these important issues.
We will bring together public sector, university and non-government sectors to explore the issues around effective data sharing and more open use of data. Any data that has the potential to improve people’s lives – whether from government, the private sector, or the community – could be subject to expert scrutiny and lively discussion.
Participants will be challenged to think more broadly about the hidden value of data sets, and the possibilities of gathering behavioural insights from the data to get a fuller picture. They will be asked to consider how we can go beyond growing capability in data analytics and create a growing spirit of knowledge sharing and collaboration around data in the ‘public purpose’ sector.
This conference, focusing on public policy challenges and the potential to use data to solve large and small problems in service delivery, will be a unique opportunity.
Participants will hear practical examples in using data analytics, behavioural insights, and design thinking, as well as an overview of the strategic challenges. They will come away with a greater understanding of the power of using people centred data to solve problems, and pathways to more effective collaboration.
The growth in data shows no signs of slowing down. We need to draw on the experience of our colleagues and other experts to ensure it is used as effectively as possible for public benefit.