There is a wealth of data in government agencies sitting around, unloved and unutilised. We blogged recently that smarter use of data can help to meet the needs of communities by informing better services, products, decisions and planning. To help realise the value of this data, we’re bringing together data champions from across NSW Government – the second Data Champions Network meeting gathered recently, with almost 50 data experts getting together in one room.

The meeting, hosted by the Data Program and Practice team at the NSW Department of Customer Service (DCS), provided attendees with an invaluable opportunity to discuss their data experiences and challenges, share ideas and distil key learnings.

Some key takeaways included:

  • The need to adopt international or national data standards, rather than NSW standards, to break down information silos
  • The need to improve data quality through the automation of data processes
  • The need for senior leadership to recognise the value of data and drive organisational change from the top-down

The Network was set up in 2018 to improve all-of-government coordination of data initiatives and to drive better data sharing and use across government. Engagement with champions is a key focus for building data maturity because it helps us to understand what data users need and which initiatives should be prioritised. The network gives those people and agencies already demonstrating best practice a platform to share and showcase the important work they’re doing. On the agenda this time was data governance, the Data.NSW website and data quality.

Data Governance

Data governance was highlighted during our first meeting as a topic that data champions wanted to delve into. Participants were split into groups and asked to provide feedback on the draft NSW Government Data Governance Framework – a prototype that is being developed to improve consistency and maturity in data governance practices across government.

The session surfaced lots of great ideas, which are currently being incorporated into the second iteration of the Framework. If you have any feedback on the prototype, we’d love to hear from you!

Data.NSW

Dr Kate Cumming, Yvonne Lee and Sian Elliott from DCS showcased the recently launched Data.NSW platform, which now allows users to search, find and use data across a range of open, spatial and agency data portals, read data case studies from across government, and collaborate on a discussion board forum.

The platform contains new content about sharing data safely, making data open, understanding key data legislation & policies, and so much more!

To ensure the platform meets your needs, go online, test it out, and let us know what you think via the data.nsw feedback button on the right side of the page.

Data Quality

Vian Khamis from Revenue NSW explained that the main driver of her agency’s Data Quality and Data Hub projects was to allow for an organisation-wide view of their customers.

The engaging discussion about data quality presented data champions with an open forum to share their challenges, learnings, and offered ideas for potential solutions. A key takeaway from the session was the need for agencies to recognise the important role of automation for improving data quality and metadata management practices.

If you want to learn more, you can view the presentation material here.

Want to become a data champion?

Our aim is to have data champions in every agency across government. If you are a NSW Government employee and are interested in becoming a data champion, email datansw@finance.nsw.gov.au and join us at our next meeting on the 26th of September 2019.

If you would like to be kept up to date on data initiatives across NSW Government but are not a NSW Government employee, please visit data.nsw.gov.au

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