This Week in Data – 19 July

This week in data – 19 July: Each week, we compile the best stories in data. Get up to speed on this week in data without having to search for it.


Data ethics could be a silver bullet for marketing

You’ve probably noticed how much Apple is talking up its privacy rules these days. It even made a bunch of ads about privacy. Turn out, this is good business. As TechCrunch points out, companies that utilize privacy as a marketing weapon are set to soar: 47% of customers are willing to switch to startups that use their sensitive data better.

So…how do companies even do that? With something called “agile data governance”. We whole-heartedly approve.


“Agile data governance defuses…risks by simplifying the ethical data practices of understanding, controlling, and monitoring data at all times. With such practices, startups can prevent and correct the mishandling of sensitive data quickly.”


Australia is completely rethinking the way it delivers services

…and data is at the forefront. The Department of Human Services, which is responsible for delivering payments to citizens, is now rebranded as Services Australia. It comes with a massive mandate to completely reshape the government services are delivered – and that means thinking in new ways about information and how we use it. 

The problem? Current government data stores are fragmented. It’s going to be a big task to bring them all together – one of the problems facing governments all around the world.


“A shake-up of service delivery and whole-of-government ICT provides a rare opportunity to break down data silos and to shift the mindset – and therefore the dial – on how data is able to be used.”


Facebook smacked with $5 billion fine over data sharing

Last week it was British Airways. Now, Facebook has been handed a massive $US5 billion fine over inappropriately sharing users’ data during the Cambridge Analytica scandal. That’s a massive amount of money, but it’s also a small portion of Facebook’s market cap. But as The Independent points out, this fine might only be the start of its troubles…


“The Cambridge Analytica scandal, as well as anger over hate speech and misinformation on its platform, have also prompted calls for the government to force Facebook to sell Instagram, which it bought in 2012, and WhatsApp, purchased in 2014.”


Data Republic announces diplomatic data zone

Let’s brag about ourselves for a bit. We’ve just announced a new product that lets companies analyze data on Amazon Web Services systems without making that data ever leave a quarantined environment. Want to test out or experiment on something without worrying about data misuse? Well, this is perfect for you.

Bragging over! 


“Our view of what’s missing to enable data to flow like money, if you will, the same trust, liquidity, confidence is what we call banking infrastructure for data — so how do we create the kind of technology tools that give people confidence in sharing data to solve problems?”

“We kind of agree philosophically with this idea that [personal information] should never leave an organisation and data should never leave — minimise the flow of raw data and maximise the flow of the output that comes from that.”


AI projects in development set to double

Whether or not you think that’s a good thing is a different matter! According to Gartner, the number of early adopters driving AI will boost project adoption. But here’s the most interesting thing from this study: of companies using AI or machine learning, 56% use it to support decision making. And 40% say the top use is to enhance customer experience.

There’s just one thing holding them back…


“Skill gaps can be addressed using service providers, partnering with universities, and establishing training programs for existing employees. However, establishing a solid data management foundation is not something that you can improvise. Reliable data quality is critical for delivering accurate insights, building trust and reducing bias. Data readiness must be a top concern for all AI projects.”


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

Until next week,

Team Data Republic

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