A window into the NSW public sector’s data capability

Data is essential to deliver tailored and evidence-based services to citizens. That’s why it’s one of the three digital priorities in the NSW Digital Government Strategy.

Yet, how well placed are we to use data in a consistent and meaningful way across the NSW public sector?

Trying to paint a picture of NSW Government’s data capability is complex and challenging. There are over 400,000 people that work for NSW Government across a range of fields – from teaching and nursing, to policy and law enforcement.

Rather than making assumptions about the sector's data skills and needs, we’ve taken a customer-centric approach. We talked to our users – you, the NSW public sector.

We wanted to understand what are your current data skills and what support, if any, do you want to develop these skills further.

In addition to going out and speaking to users, we enlisted your help to answervia a short data skills survey. We received over 1,000 responses – an amazing result that has given us invaluable insights we’d like to share with you.

Here’s what you told us

  • 95% would benefit from learning more about data in your role
  • More than 50% provided detailed responses about your data challenges
  • The most popular methods of learning included class room training environments, online resources and e-modules
  • The most popular data topics included finding data, using data to inform decision making and improve services

Thanks to your participation, we now have a much better understanding of where there are strengths, gaps and areas for improvement areas. It also means we know where to direct our efforts so we don’t waste time, energy and money developing resources that aren’t wanted or needed.

What we’re doing about it (in the short term)

We are currently working on updating digital.nsw with a suite of online resources. These will help you:

  • Find the data you need
  • Make data safe for others to access
  • Navigate data policy and legislation
  • Understand how to manage data and information

We’ll release the beta version of these resources shortly. While these products are still in development, we want to get feedback to make sure we’re on the right track.

What’s next?

This is just the first step. Over the coming weeks will we dig deeper into what you told us. We will work alongside our colleagues across the sector to explore various opportunities to build data skills across government.