This Month in Data – September 2020

This month in data – September 2020

Data is an incredibly powerful weapon in the global fight against COVID-19. We’ve collected the best resources and insights to help businesses take practical steps during this trying time.


Put data to work in more efficient ways

We’ve passed the point of no return in declaring that data is an essential business tool. But could we be using it better? IDEO points to a survey that shows the majority of businesses aren’t getting the value they expect from data, and suggests some ways to improve. Experimentation, intentional diversions, and even creating entirely new business units. After all, Netflix did it. 


“So after you pick your path, get out there and start prototyping early and often with data products, just like you would with anything else.”


Australian fintechs call for a data watchdog

Someone’s gotta do it. The Aussie fintech industry says the Government should implement an agency to oversee the consumer data right and open banking regulations. Australia points to Singapore as a reason why this could work – and yet another sign that established practices in good data governance are beginning to have global spread. 


“Vesting oversight of the consumer data right, the government’s flagship competition policy, into a new agency instead of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission is expected to be announced in next month’s federal budget.”


…and the Aussies want consent, too

Another Australian view on data: the country’s latest version of a data sharing bill. There’s a lot to dig into here, but the basic plot is that the Australian Government is now leaning towards saying all Australians must consent to how their data is used. That’s a big step, and more in line with European frameworks.


“For too long, there has been a lack of a consistent and clear framework for making good use of data. We need to make sure the information the government collects and holds can be accessed in a safe and timely way to respond to the needs of Australians.”


How Airbnb launched a data powerhouse

Airbnb has suffered among some of the worst consequences from the COVID crisis, but it’s bouncing back. Over at Bloomberg, the publication looks into how the company created an information sharing platform for 15 cities that gives them more up-to-date and relevant information about listings. Why? So tourism officials can understand the ebb and flow of activity in their own city. Pretty neat. 


“Cities will have the ability to map and see who’s making money, how much they’re making, and where they’re located,” Lehane says. “Democratic governments have the power to set the law and to enforce the right policies. What we learned as a platform is our obligation is to make sure cities have the ability to effectively do that.”


The new age of data-driven public transport is here

Okay, we know it seems like we talk about public transport a lot here, but this one’s good. CDO Trends takes a great look at why data is going to power the next generation of public transit. The big breakthrough here is “mobility as a service”, which imagines transit as less of a private good, and more of a data-driven combination of public and private networks to drive efficiency. 


“Mobility-as-a-Service (MaaS) — which describes a shift away from personally-owned modes of transportation and towards mobility provided as a service by combining transportation services from public and private transportation providers – holds the potential to change the future of transportation by providing more personalized transportation services.”


Data for human good

So much of the conversation around data and how we use it can be mired in negativity. But what about positive things we can do with information? The World Economic Forum has created a “Data for Common Purpose” initiative. The idea? Create a data governance model that any government can use – and one that protects human rights. 


“Imagine a world in which devices collect information about your vitals and lifestyle, where you set permissions around what your data can be used for, such as research and testing around the cure for Covid-19, or dementia, or cancer.”


That’s our wrap for this month. Thanks for reading – we hope you found it entertaining and informative. We’d love to hear your thoughts on these articles and anything else data related!

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Until next month,

Team Data Republic

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