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Capitalising on our strength in data science

Data science is becoming an area of competitive strength for Australia. For example, Data61, part of CSIRO, is home to more than 1100 staff, including over 415 PhDs, focused on data science, engineering and design. As the data revolution continues, Australia has an opportunity to build on these strengths.

By continuing to build our national data science capability and setting appropriate regulatory frameworks that enable responsible and transparent access to data (with appropriate data safeguards), Australia will become an attractive destination for investment, which will reduce loss of our talent overseas. Artificial intelligence and machine learning are key areas in data science attracting hundreds of billions of dollars of investment globally.

Leading in open data

Australia is leading the way on opening up its datasets to the public – the 2017 Global Open Data Index ranked Australia 2nd out of 94 countries. By increasing access to data, while maintaining appropriate privacy and security settings, businesses have the chance to use data to create new products, processes and services.

Enabling data-driven businesses

The generation and use of vast amounts of data is a new source of market power in the digital economy.

Data is a key economic commodity that can make existing businesses more efficient and is driving new business models and industries. Data-driven businesses can now easily access powerful data analytics to gain valuable insights about their customers or potential markets which can help them grow.

Businesses such as Google, Amazon and Facebook generate immense amounts of data from their daily operations that they analyse to generate knowledge, and insights of value for themselves and others.

There are considerable opportunities for Australian businesses in all industries that recognise the value of the data they hold and use it to create value for themselves and their customers while protecting citizens’ privacy and confidentiality.

In key industries including agriculture, mining and health, Australia has an opportunity to build on its strengths by using the power of data to further drive productivity gains and deliver world first innovations.

There are also opportunities for new businesses that primarily focus on the analysis and application of data to drive value.

Using satellite imagery

Australia has a great opportunity to capitalise on its world-class satellite imagery data through the Digital Earth Australia program.

Satellite imagery data was previously only available in archives and to big business. Making that information available through a smartphone gives anyone access to 30 years of satellite images over any location in Australia. This data can be used to build new products and services for commercial purposes, and to interpret and analyse changes to Australia’s physical landscape. This creates a wealth of opportunities in land planning, agriculture, mining, environmental analysis and research.