Interview: Dean Capobianco, Geoscape

Geoscape Australia

Tuesday, 14 March, 2023

Interview: Dean Capobianco, Geoscape

What is the major potential tech pain point that will face all organisations large and small in 2023?

Data management. Effective and efficient data management will be critical to free up resources and support better decision-making.

We’ve all heard the mind-blowing statistics about the amount of data that’s being produced and the hype about the value that data-driven decision-making can bring. But both government and business need to improve how they manage their data assets if we want to realise that value. For example, this could involve streamlining the ingestion and standardisation of data so that it’s ready for use by an app, or organising and enriching assets using additional data sources.

Build, buy or partner decisions are always complex. In 2023, organisations are likely to factor in general economic conditions, and labour market pressures in particular, when choosing how to approach their data management. In this environment, they may lean towards the buy and partner options, so that staff can focus their expertise where it will make the most difference. The flexibility of scalable subscription services is also likely to be appealing.

What’s on your tech wish list from governments, innovators and the wider industry in 2023?

With both government and industry working hard to run efficient cloud-based operations and offer online services, there’s a real need to optimise the data technology that underpins those systems. We need to strengthen their reliability and integrity to build digital trust.

There’s also evidence of duplication of effort (and therefore costs) across many parts of government and industry. Governments are well placed to lead cooperation, drive the use of standards and engage specialists to deliver efficiencies. For a more sustainable future, we need to find smart, interoperable solutions that allow us to plan better and avoid governments and businesses “reinventing the wheel” tens, hundreds and potentially thousands of times across the country.

I would therefore like to see renewed government investment in emerging technologies, like machine learning-driven modelling and spatial digital twins, to help support businesses through these challenging economic times.

Which new technologies will reach critical mass and become dominant in 2023?

As the CEO of a geospatial data company, I’m particularly interested in data technology trends. “Datafication” is a term being used to describe the phenomenon of many aspects of life being turned into data on a huge scale and then realised as some new form of value, for example, through predictive analytics. Datafication isn’t likely to slow down in 2023, so we’ll see more technologies that relate to the management of big data reaching a critical mass. For example, these include technologies that support data security, data visualisation, machine learning and larger computing power.

How is the current talent shortage impacting your industry and how will this be overcome in 2023?

There’s a global gap in data science skills, and it’s not a recent, post-COVID problem. Back in 2015, the Commonwealth recognised in its Public Sector Data Management Report that ready-for-work graduates with data capabilities were in short supply.

Whilst government initiatives and market forces drive more data science training, we’re nurturing the capabilities of our own highly valued staff. And we offer their geolocation expertise to our customers through our data products and customised data services, and to the public at large through initiatives like open G-NAF and G-NAF Core for the benefit of all Australians.

Dean Capobianco, CEO of Geoscape Australia, is an accomplished business and commercial leader with Board and Advisory experience. Dean is a graduate of UTS Business School and a former Olympic and World Championship athlete. He is skilled in digital strategy, business transformation and growth, SaaS technology, online media and advertising, and sales management in B2B and B2C markets.

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