This Month in Data – June 2020

This month in data – June 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.


The year’s top 10 data trends

We’re halfway through the year, can you believe that? Thankfully Gartner has taken some time to reflect and has listed out a number of AI and data related trends. Among them? The decline of the dashboard (that’s a surprise), the idea of cloud as a default, the combination of data and analytics, and the inclusion of the blockchain. But our favourite? This idea of “augmented data management” – the rise of systems to crunch huge amounts of data.


“Augmented data management products can examine large samples of operational data, including actual queries, performance data and schemas. Using the existing usage and workload data, an augmented engine can tune operations and optimise configuration, security and performance.”


The pandemic showcases our data limitations

As Healthcare IT News points out, public agencies are heavily reliant on their manual processes for data. This is a huge piece that covers a lot of ground, (and laments the lack of a way to organize and put data into federal hands), but it serves as a great warning. One of its main points stands out: the data sets available just don’t have enough information to tangibly help many investigations. 


“Chopra said the CDC is banking on automation to improve the data flow, but that will take time. For now, providing data for even the simplest questions is a manual headache.”


Mobility data and the Coronavirus merge

Before the pandemic took hold, there was a lot of news in the transportation data sector. Cities like Los Angeles were making a lot of progress in centralizing information to help their planning. Citiesspeak has an interesting article on this: as cities begin to go back to normal, how can we use that data to help? One point it makes is that users simply aren’t educated about how this data is used – and that’s half the battle. 


“Collaboration is needed across sectors – this should not be an issue that is private sector vs. public sector, but instead interests should be aligned to support the safe and responsible sharing of mobility data based on use cases where appropriate risk assessments have been completed.”


Sharing data across the border

Separate from the COVID pandemic, one of the biggest challenges the data community faces is being able to share information freely across countries. Brexit was a huge blow to this, for instance, and it caused massive problems that both Britain and the European Union are still figuring out. That being said, there are a couple of World Economic Forum publications that showcase how we can make cross-border data sharing better.

The first is a document on future-proofing, which makes the point that even with regulatory differences, there’s still a need for flexible frameworks. The solution is a roadmap for countries to adopt like-minded policies on data sharing, even with their own policy differences.

Separately, the WEF produced a document on how to actually create those free and trusted data flows. It’s a huge beast, but one particular recommendation stands out: given that data interaction is human-centered, countries need to take a human-centric approach to data governance.  


“Digitalization has also caused societal challenges that are linked to new technologies and may expose vulnerable groups to new risks. To manage these challenges while delivering benefits, policy‑makers must take a human‑centric approach to data governance – an approach that is advocated by philosophies like governance innovation.”


Data Republic in the news:

Our thoughts on a digital link to Singapore

Singapore has been one of the countries on the forefront of creating robust digital and data practices, and Australia seems to recognize it. The two countries are forging a new “bridge” for the Fintech industry that would see cross-border data collaboration, especially following Australia’s Open Banking regime. We made our own comment on the piece – news flash: we’re in favor.

Why do Fintechs want an international Consumer Data Right?

Australia started small, but the industry wants to go big: the AFR reports that Fintechs are looking for an international Consumer Data Right. Why? Simple: this is a global field, and only a global policy framework will truly unlock the biggest benefits. Our CEO, Danny Gilligan, explains in the piece why that’s the case: “There are no problems in society that can’t be materially advanced through the application of new data insights”.


“People tend to view it as a false trade-off between privacy and innovation, but our belief is that through the correct application of technology and process, you can get more of each at the same time.”

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