Paul’s end of year wrap 2017

Wisdom can often begin with a piece of data that provides useful insights. This is one of the main reasons why Data Republic was built – to help businesses make better decisions with data.

We aim to find value for businesses through data analysis because we recognise that on its own, data is meaningless. Unless it is timely, relevant and applicable, it cannot contribute to better decision-making.

We’ve made it our goal to provide a secure platform where organisations could access data and insights from other entities, governments and individuals.

Our partnership with the NSW government in launching an open data marketplace is one example of this.

Businesses will stand to gain a lot from this platform. It will enable them to compete with other organisations that have historically held some of the world’s most valuable behavioural data in closed environments.

There’s no doubt that if we democratise data and make it accessible, we unlock an enormous amount of value. However, the challenge is: How do we assess and overcome the risks associated with it?

According to a Gartner study, by 2020, 25% of large organizations will be either sellers or buyers of data via formal online data marketplaces. By 2021, the prevalence of equity analysts valuing organisations’ information portfolios in valuing businesses themselves will spark formal internal information valuation and auditing practices.

Since launching our Senate platform in 2014, we have been on a journey that has enabled us to understand and solve the many different problems associated with developing a data exchange marketplace. Having solved these issues, we are now in a position to leverage these solutions.

Our Senate platform and the open data marketplace has experienced tremendous growth. It was officially launched in August 2016 and, at the beginning of 2017, Data Republic already had 100 organisations active on the marketplace. By November 2017, we have seen over 1,000 projects completed by over 400 active organisations.

As our ecosystem has grown, we have been able to develop the following features on our platform this year:

  • Time to value: In the past year, Data Republic worked closely with law firm Allens to develop and implement a common legal framework for all platform users enter into and covers all data exchanges. It eliminates onerous time and resources that would previously have been spent on legal negotiations between individual companies.
  • Private by design: Our ecosystem is built to be ‘private-by-design’. This means that personally identifiable attributes are removed from our datasets and stored in a secure environment known as Databank. Governance over access, permissions and collaboration: Once users have access to data, how do organisations ensure that their rules are applied so that only particular users or organisations have access to specific datasets? To counter this, we developed governance technology that regulates and monitors how shared data is used on the platform.
  • Trusted and secure discovery: Data on its own is not good or bad. It must be analysed or layered with other datasets for learnings to be produced. This has lead us to develop a “demilitarised zone” for our data workspaces. These spaces allow for insights to be discovered, assessed as to whether it solves a problem, is valuable and what its potential application is.
  • Data search and marketing: Once data has been analysed and its use case has been identified in a workspace, it may remain on the marketplace as data for an organisation to discover and use to solve its own problem or an issue for another business.

These features provide the ability to conduct data exchange at scale and build data liquidity.

Several notable events this year has indicated the pressing demand for a data exchange platform that is not just open, but ‘governed’ or shared. This year has seen:

  • Over 200 nations implementing open data policies. This highlights that this movement towards open data sharing is gaining momentum.
  • Identity theft has increased by 40 percent year-on-year, which is why it is so important for a ‘private-by-design’ platform to mitigate this.
  • The biggest companies in the world have been found to be closed data ecosystems. In order for other organisations to compete with in the future, it is necessary for businesses to learn how to take advantage of their own datasets, commercialise it and use data from external sources to enrich their own
  • Real and measured results have been achieved. by various projects undertaken on the Data Republic platform, for example, a recent ‘datathon’ provided the Victorian government with actionable insights on how to improve immunisation rates. The verdict is in: There is great value to be obtained for companies managing their data better and participating in data exchange.

2017 has seen many people proclaim that data is a new economy, however, this economy cannot run efficiently without the right ‘rails’. We see Data Republic as providing the technology for this infrastructure to ensure that advances in this economy can progress smoothly by enabling organisations to securely manage the sharing and exchange of their data.

Our Senate marketplace allows organisations to not just have their own data exchange platform but also governance over these exchanges. This means that not only can they, or analysts that they can choose, use our suite of analytics tools to derive data insights, but if they are outsourcing data analysis, they can manage what goes in and out of that environment.

To our knowledge, very few, if any, organisations provide this service with all the features and functionalities available on the Data Republic platform.

All of us at Data Republic are very excited to be able to provide this service and we hope to play a key role in helping the world make better decisions with data.