This Week in Data – August 31

Data brings help to the homeless

We love to see data used for social good! The Ask Izzy tool, developed by Google and NFP Infoxchange, helps locate areas where people are looking for help but can’t find it. Services now use the tool to help figure out where they should send resources.


“Orange Sky, a service that provides mobile laundry and shower services to people experiencing homelessness, have used the platform to understand where their vans are most needed.”

Australia’s ex-PM a champion for data

You probably saw that Australia changed Prime Ministers…again. But outgoing PM Malcolm Turnbull leaves a data-related legacy: he was one of few pushing for government agencies to make their information more readily available. Not only in the consumer data right and open banking, but within individual departments.


“If anything, what we have learned from the Turnbull era is that steering major transformation will need strong ministerial leadership and a real willingness to drive the fundamental change to the design and basic operations of government.”

Public organizations need to up their data game

Smart cities! Yay! Except they’re not so smart – at least, not yet. That’s according to a report from a UK think-tank which says government agencies really need to get their data in shape. The UK fire brigade uses 750 systems, and many of them don’t work together. Yeesh. The other problem? Laws don’t keep up with the actual ways data is used.


\”Local government can also play an important role in promoting data sharing across the public sector. Local data-sharing agreements can provide an infrastructural and standards template for larger-scale data-sharing agreements.”

Utah roads are safer – thanks to big data

Speaking of smart cities…or states, rather. Utah engineers searched the state’s history of crash data to determine “hot spots” on roads where crashes happen more often. Turns out, the roads weren’t wide enough in many places. This is a big deal: many crash fixes are reliant on anecdotal data, rather than evidence-driven analysis.


“We want to get safety data as close to the hands of the designers as possible, as close to the problem-solvers as possible. We want lots of opinions, and we want those experts to provide depth and meaning.” 

We all love the blockchain

84% of organizations, anyway. That’s according to a new PwC report, which says 32% of them have blockchain-related projects in development. The financial sector is leading the way here, but there are still plenty of concerns: 7% of organizations have shelved their programs due to trust issues.


\”While the potential of distributed computing and ledger technologies is demonstrated by the high numbers of organizations trialing it, complexity, trust, and regulatory uncertainty remain the biggest barriers to deeper and more widespread adoption, according to the report.”

The 10 biggest data management mistakes

We all make a few, so it’s good to be across them. Whether you’re not managing your data consistently, assuming it’s always clean, concentrating your data strategy in one project or just making ad-hoc decisions, you need to be aware of the pitfalls your approach can carry. Often, you won’t be aware you’re making any mistakes at all.


“No matter how many safeguards are built into your enterprise applications, data can still be entered and managed inaccurately.”

Well, 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! Contact us anytime! 

Until next week,

Team Data Republic

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