Chief data officers are demanding more investment in data-driven initiatives


According to a study published by Qlik, Chief Data Officers (CDO) find that greater investments in data-driven initiatives are required. CDOs also agree that organizations need to be more data-driven when making decisions.

75% of ANZ’s public sector chief data officers felt the pandemic highlighted the need for greater investment in data-driven initiatives, while 66% felt it revealed gaps in their data strategy, according to a new study published by Qlik .

The report, Emergence of the Asia-Pacific Public Sector Chief Data Officer, created by research and consultancy firm Omdia and commissioned by Qlik, analyzes the state of the public sector CDO community as governments continue to adapt to a landscape disrupted by the pandemic and digital transformation.

It interviewed 103 senior public sector data managers in Singapore, Australia, New Zealand and India to uncover the concerns, challenges and priorities of these CDOs.

The results suggest a consensus among CDOs to drive a cultural shift in their organizations towards more data-driven decision-making and sharing, with an emphasis on building data literacy and improving data sharing.

Important data priorities for ANZ CDOs
The top priorities for ANZ CDOs for the next year include achieving a data strategy with a one-year action plan (42%) and improving data quality (39%). When it comes to technology, CDOs were concerned (58%) about their company’s ability to analyze large amounts of data from multiple sources.

Interestingly, there has been a significant discrepancy between Australian and New Zealand CDOs planning to release new datasets as open data. Three quarters (75%) of New Zealand CDOs commit, while only 40% of Australian CDOs pursue the same goal.

However, both Australia and New Zealand agree to a corporate culture where data is used to support decision-making, with 79% of ANZ CDOs agreeing. Similarly, 67% of ANZ CDOs called for the need for a more data literate workforce.

More data advocacy from leadership is needed
However, CDOs struggle to convince their organizations of the value of data. To date, only 63% of ANZ public sector companies rely on data insights when making business-critical decisions.

Meanwhile, two-thirds (67%) have not yet established a data governance body, although there is evidence that such a body can build management support and greater awareness of the value of data in decision-making.

Half (50%) of New Zealand CDOs believe that leadership support is critical to fulfilling their role, compared to 68% of Australian CDOs.

“The pandemic reinforces the belief that data is critical to decision making, but building a robust data pipeline with existing governance structures takes work. There is still a long way to go to convince executives of the value of data, ”said Charlie Farah, director of Industry Solutions for Healthcare and Public Sector at Qlik.

“Public sector CDOs have a real opportunity to use the lessons learned during COVID-19 to reevaluate how they can serve citizens in new ways using data as a foundation. The inter-agency data exchange and the promotion of a high level of data literacy will be of crucial importance, ”says Farah.

US counterparts set the bar for ANZ
While ANZ public sector organizations have not fully established the CDO role to leverage data as a business opportunity, another study commissioned by Qlik found that U.S. public sector organizations are helping develop strategies to create a The framework and standards for inter-agency data exchange are more advanced, improving the efficiency of data collection and the more secure exchange of protected data.

71% of US public sector organizations view data governance as a priority, ahead of 52% in ANZ.

“The COVID-19 crisis marked a turning point for CDOs in APAC and caused governments in Asia to use data insights more efficiently to create better public health, welfare and tax services for citizens,” noted Omdia Chief Analyst Emeritus Kevin Noonan.

“There is an urgent need to reassess public sector technology investments in order to develop an appropriate strategy to meet the emerging agility and innovation demands of the new normal. However, technology is only part of the puzzle. Managers also need to better define and empower the CDO role in order to implement data-driven decision-making, ”emphasizes Noonan.


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