Today, Qlik® released new Australian and New Zealand findings that build on its latest research report, titled “Emergence of the Public Sector Chief Data Officer in Asia Pacific. The report revealed that 75 per cent of ANZ public sector Chief Data Officers (CDOs) felt that the pandemic highlighted the need for greater investment in data-driven initiatives while 66 per cent felt it highlighted shortfalls in their data strategy.
The report, prepared by research and consultancy firm Omdia and commissioned by Qlik, analyses the state of the public sector CDO community as governments continue to adjust to a landscape disrupted by the pandemic and digital transformation. It surveyed 103 senior public sector data executives across Singapore, Australia, New Zealand, and India to reveal the concerns, challenges and priorities of these CDOs.
The findings point to a shared desire among CDOs to drive a cultural shift in their organisations towards more data-driven decision making and sharing, with key priorities focused on building data literacy and improving data sharing.
Key data priorities for ANZ CDOs
Key priorities for ANZ CDOs over the next year include achieving a data strategy with a one-year action plan (42%) as well as improving data quality (39%). When it came to technology, the key concern many CDOs face (58%) was the ability to analyse large volumes of data from multiple sources.
Interestingly, there was a significant discrepancy between Australian and New Zealand CDOs that plan to publish new data sets as open data. Three quarters (75%) of New Zealand CDOs are making the commitment, while only 40 per cent of Australian CDOs have the same goal.
However, both Australian and New Zealand are aligned in their belief in the need for a corporate culture of using data to support decisions, with 79 per cent of ANZ CDOs agreeing on this. Similarly, 67 per cent of ANZ CDOs highlighted the need for a more data literate workforce.
More data advocacy from leadership is needed
However, CDOs still face an uphill battle in convincing their organisations of the value of data. To date, only 63 per cent of ANZ public sector organisations rely on data insights when making mission-critical decisions. Meanwhile, two-thirds (67%) have yet to set up a data governance body, despite proof that such a body can build management support and broader awareness of the value of data in decision-making. Half (50%) of New Zealand CDOs feel leadership support is crucial in helping them perform in their role, compared with 68 per cent of Australian CDOs.
“The pandemic reinforces the point of view that data is critical to decision making but setting up a robust data pipeline with governance structures in place takes work and there’s still some way to go in convincing senior leadership of the value of data,” said Charlie Farah, Director of Industry Solutions for Healthcare and Public Sector at Qlik. “Public sector CDOs have a real opportunity to take the lessons learnt during COVID-19 to re-evaluate how to serve citizens in new ways using data as the foundation. Cross agency data sharing and promoting high rates of data literacy will be pivotal to achieving this.”
US counterparts set the bar for ANZ to follow
While ANZ public sector organisations have yet to fully establish the CDO function to seize data as a business opportunity, another study commissioned by Qlik found that US public sector organisations are more advanced in developing strategies to establish a framework and standards for cross-agency data sharing, improving the efficiency of data collection, and secure sharing of protected data. 71 per cent of US public sector organisations see data governance as a priority, ahead of 52 per cent in ANZ.
Kevin Noonan, Emeritus Chief Analyst at Omdia, said, “The COVID-19 crisis has been a watershed for CDOs in APAC, prompting governments in Asia to more efficiently use data insights to create better citizen services around public health, welfare and taxation. There is a pressing need to reassess the public sector organization’s technology investment to enable a suitable strategy to meet the new normal’s emerging agility and innovation requirements. However, technology is only one piece of the puzzle. Leaders must also better define and enable the CDO role to realize data-driven decision-making.”
To help shape a confident and successful data literate society, Qlik helms the world’s first data literacy open community, the Data Literacy Project, which include leaders such as Accenture and Cognizant. Qlik also offers a Data Literacy 2.0 program with comprehensive learning resources and consulting services designed to empower employees across the organization to use data effectively – regardless of role or skill.
The full report for “Emergence of the Public Sector Chief Data Officer in APAC” is available for download here.
About the report
“Emergence of the Public Sector Chief Data Officer in APAC” was commissioned by Qlik and produced independently by research and consultancy firm Omdia. The report surveyed 103 public sector data executives across Australia, India, New Zealand and Singapore who were the most senior executive responsible for data within their government agency, regardless of job title. The research was conducted through telephone and online surveys throughout January 2021.
Qlik’s vision is a data-literate world, where everyone can use data and analytics to improve decision-making and solve their most challenging problems. A private SaaS company, Qlik provides an end-to-end, real-time data integration and analytics cloud platform to close the gaps between data, insights and action. By transforming data into Active Intelligence, businesses can drive better decisions, improve revenue and profitability, and optimize customer relationships. Qlik does business in more than 100 countries and serves over 50,000 customers around the world.