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AIHW & ANZSOG conference March 2018 - Breaking Data Silos

Full conference program (PDF 160kB)

Keeping the data conference going!

By Barry Sandison, CEO AIHW

Just finished our AIHW Conference, “Breaking Data Silos”, run in partnership with ANZSOG. It has been 6-7 years since the last one and what a great way to jump back in to leading a national conversation on data, which is particularly important given two of the Institute’s strategic goals are being “Leaders in health and welfare data” and being “Champions for open and accessible data and information”.

Needless to say there were a lot of issues raised during the conference that were amplified by the recent Facebook and Cambridge Analytica debate. However, with a great mix of international and national speakers several key messages came through loud and clear for those involved in the data world:

  1. when dealing with data, trust is critical, particularly trust with transparency!
  2. the role of the citizen (and other data owners) in the governance of their data needs to be clarified
  3. data needs to be considered as a renewable resource! 

In terms of transparency, Liz McPherson, the Chief Executive of Stats New Zealand gave us a great model to look at – “the transparent data use dial”.

Beth Novack from New York Uni videoed in and gave us plenty to think about in relation to better use of data in a fact hostile world. Again transparency was a theme, but not in isolation. The way data gets released and is made available is key. Kathy Leigh, the head of the ACT Public Service helped frame the conversation in terms of expectations of citizens and how silos need to be broken down between elements of each public sector, as well as more broadly.

Genevieve Bell, Director of the 3A Institute, Florence Violet McKenzie Chair, and a Distinguished Professor at the ANU, really provoked some thinking at the dinner and got us to consider that the future is already here (but just unevenly distributed)! Great stories to challenge our thinking on the digital world, modern technology, data and what it all means to us.

Peter Harris, Chair of the Productivity Commission, made sure that we re-focussed on the PC Report in to Data availability and use and the rights of the individual in managing data. Like many speakers, he emphasised that data is an asset but it isn’t like oil, it is a renewable resource.

Stephen Duckett, Director of Health Programs at the Grattan Institute entertained and challenged us about the quality of data use in the health sector and the need to dig deeper for data to be useful - surely we can do better! 

There were many more speakers in joint plenary sessions and breakout forums (see here for program) but too many great ideas and thoughts to list. We just have to work out some other opportunities to keep the data conversation going – we’ll keep you informed as to when that will be. Thanks to all those that contributed and attended!

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