NSW publishes data sharing strategy

By Dylan Bushell-Embling
Wednesday, 09 June, 2021

NSW publishes data sharing strategy

The NSW Government has published its new data sharing strategy, focused on taking the lessons learned during the 2019–20 bushfires and the COVID-19 pandemic by using data to drive better outcomes for all residents.

The strategy aims to harness the power of data to execute the government’s policy priorities, respond to emerging issues and deliver better services to the public, while maintaining privacy, security and ethical standards.

According to the government, the strategy is built around four key themes. The first involves increasing the speed at which data can be translated to actionable insights to guide government decision-making, including in emergency situations.

The second involves treating data as an asset, by recognising data as a significant state asset in its own right; aligning standards and practices to increase the visibility, usability and value of data; and making better use of data by producing de-identified data assets from across multiple spheres of government.

Third, the government will seek to strengthen transparency and trust by maintaining privacy and security standards. This will include adopting a privacy- and security-by-design approach to data projects, and consolidating whole-of-government data policies.

Another aspect of this part of the strategy will involve working with NSW’s Aboriginal community to develop and implement Indigenous Data Sovereignty and Indigenous Data Governance principles.

Finally, the strategy will seek to ensure that government employees understand the importance of using data to inform decisions that impact the community, and that they have the skills needed to use data effectively and safely in their role.

This component will involve appointing a chief data officer for each department that does not currently have one.

All department chief data officers will also be tasked with developing data roadmaps for their departments. Meanwhile, the NSW Data Leadership Group will be instructed to conduct sector-wide maturity assessments to determine baseline data literacy and capabilities and exploring ways to improve these capabilities.

The new strategy forms part of the government’s NSW Data Reform agenda, and is the key component of the second phase of the program. Under the program, the strategy will be revised annually; the actions outlined in the current strategy are for the first 12 months.

The next steps will involve monitoring progress on implementing the actions identified; identifying and prioritising datasets considered to be of high value; and fostering sharing of this data.

Image credit: ©stock.adobe.com/au/Connect world

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