Why does data matter?

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Data is valuable because it enables better, more connected services, improved policies and decision making, and the development of new, innovative products.

Collecting and analysing data is not a new thing, but the tools businesses and consumers use to quickly interact with data from multiple sources are changing rapidly. Seven out of the top 10 companies in the world rely on the data they collect to deliver services and create value.

“Data is a spectrum that runs from open, through to shared, through to closed—from public to personal … Empowering individuals, both as consumers and citizens, with their own data is an important cause. It helps support participation and inclusiveness, reduces inequality and enables people to make a fair judgement as to what is in their interest.”

Sir Nigel Shadbolt, Chairman of the UK Open Data Institute, JANUARY 2018

Helping businesses to grow

Businesses can use data to help create new technologies, products and processes. This creates jobs, improves productivity and grows the economy.

Data can help businesses:

  • drive and target growth opportunities
  • design innovative goods and services
  • improve pricing
  • operate more efficiently.

Delivering social benefits

Analysing data can lead to significant benefits for the community. Data improves government’s ability to understand complex issues and to make better decisions and design more targeted programs. This has applications for a range of social policy areas including health, education, welfare, and the environment. For example, by:

  • analysing health data the health sector can better diagnose and treat conditions
  • using locational data from mobile phones to better plan public transport and roads
  • using meteorological and climate data to predict natural disasters.

Providing consumer choices

Online comparison and review services are everywhere, and services like Dimmi, Uber, AirBnB and energymadeeasy.gov.au use rating systems to give consumers valuable advice. Information, news and entertainment services increasingly analyse individuals’ preferences and behaviour to provide improved services and targeted offerings.

Data enables consumers to:

  • access quicker and cheaper services
  • receive more targeted and personalised service offerings
  • make more informed decisions.