This week in data – 25th October

The rise of the Australian tech industry over the past several years has delivered several success stories, and one reason for that success is becoming clearer: more Australian businesses are looking to partner up with fintech firms to improve their existing business.

According to a recent PwC report, 82% of financial institutions expect to increase their fintech partnerships within the next three to five years.

The situation is something of a win-win: larger corporates get the speed-to-market and innovation that a start-up can provide, while young fintech firms get access to a larger infrastructure that can scale their product and gain access to new customer networks – and new customer data.

As Dynamic Business explains, these partnerships can be increasingly valuable.

“For Westpac in particular, partnerships with startups like Coinbase, Data Republic, and Octet’s Business Enterprise, mean the company has been able to maintain its innovative capacity, combining its resources with the agility and innovation of smaller startup businesses.”While fintech in Australia is likely to become popular on its own, these partnerships will surely accelerate the process – and show how crucial partnerships are to achieving progress with data sharing.

Elsewhere, economist Andrew Charlton argues in the Huffington Post the concept of “data sharing” is increasingly gaining trust among businesses…but everyday Australians aren’t convinced and Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull is wasting time, a new piece argues.

Charlton argues that Australians are scared – rightly so – given so many hacks and cyber attacks. But in turn, he says the Government should do more to create trust in data sharing that could ultimately deliver as much as $16 billion to the Australian economy.

What can we do? Enact consumer rights, name datasets of national interest and set up a federal agency for data. That would be a good start, Charlton says.

“The Government should adopt this federated approach across all levels of data sharing and use. If it does, the Prime Minister may yet leave behind a policy achievement with a lasting legacy.”

In other news:

While many businesses might have stars in their eyes at the thought of implementing artificial intelligence or machine learning, a new poll shows that companies still need good old-fashioned data analytics talent more than anything else.

According to a SAP poll, 96% of respondents said analytics was the most important technology required in a data-driven enterprise. Only 86% cited AI and machine learning, while 85% said the internet of things was the most important tech.

The survey demonstrates just how hungry data-driven businesses are for tech that can allow them to distill analytics into actual insights and actionable tasks: 79% of respondents believe there is a data skills shortage.

“Big data has been coined the new gold, and companies believe that it’s time to make data scientists the new gold miners,” the survey said.

Meanwhile, we’ve all seen television shows that depict counter-terrorism teams with unrealistic computing power. As it turns out – those teams are now something of a reality.

A new piece at TechCrunch takes a look at the “Los Angeles Police Department’s Real-Time Analysis Critical Response” division as part of a new “rise of big data policing”. While the name sounds like something out of a television show, it’s real – and it’s actually working.

The division works with analytics group Palantir, which helps analyse, integrate and share clues from normal police data sets that can point towards a conviction. The platform automatically sorts data like age, address, gang affiliations or vehicle ownership into sortable fields.

“The decisional work of identifying criminal actors, networks, and patterns now starts with powerful computers crunching large data sets almost instantaneously. Math provides the muscle to prevent and prosecute crime,” the article states.

Worth a read:

Can small restaurants use data to increase business, predict inventory usage and drive profitability? As it turns out, they can – and this case study provides insight into how smaller businesses in hospitality can use data in meaningful ways. Forbes.

Until next week.

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