by Bonnie Gardiner

NSW government gets new advisory board for data analytics centre

Apr 12, 2016
Big DataData CenterGovernment

An advisory board for the NSW Data Analytics Centre (DAC) has been established to provide strategic advice and guide the future direction of the centre’s priorities.

The announcement of the new board by Minister for Innovation and Better Regulation, Victor Dominello on Tuesday follows recent confirmation of Dr Ian Oppermann as CEO of the DAC.

The new board comprises nine members and will be chaired by Tim Thurman, Chief Information Officer at the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX).

Thurman is currently overseeing the implementation of a $50 million digital strategy with the ASX and is anticipated to assist the government with the digitising of service delivery and implementation of whole-of-government innovation priorities.

The board is made up of nine government and industry representatives:

  • Mary O’Kane – NSW chief scientist and engineer
  • Michael Pratt – NSW customer service commissioner
  • Professor Hugh Durrant-Whyte – director, the Centre for Translational Data Science, the University of Sydney
  • Attila Brungs – vice chancellor and president, the University of Technology Sydney (UTS)
  • Paul Cousins – head geospatial, Google ANZ
  • Kate Carruthers – deputy director, business analytics and data governance, University of NSW (UNSW)
  • Murray Hurps – general manager, Fishburners
  • Alex Scandurra – CEO, Stone and Chalk
  • Ian Hill – group head of innovation, Westpac

The DAC was established in August 2015 as the first whole-of-government data analytics centre, aimed at limiting bureaucracy and improving regulation and innovation efforts.

The centre, hosted at the UTS Data Arena, facilitates data sharing between agencies to inform more efficient, strategic, evidence based decision making. A DAC initially was led by a steering committee, which has since dissolved to make way for the new advisory board.

“The board will advise government on priorities and the key partnerships across industry, government and research sectors that should be forged to ensure outcomes are delivered,” Mr Dominello said in a statement.

“With the calibre of Dr Ian Oppermann and Tim Thurman at the helm, I’m confident the DAC will deliver positive outcomes for the people of NSW.”

The use of data and data analytics is consistent with the NSW Government’s Digital + ICT strategy, which recognises the need for a digital transformation of government services, Dominello told CIO Australia.

“Whether it’s tackling crime, combatting obesity or addressing housing affordability, we cannot hope to develop solutions to the long-term challenges that our state faces without an effective whole-of-government data sharing platform,” Minister Dominello said.

The initiative follows the example of New Zealand, New York City and the State of Michigan where data analytics has successfully been used to improve the lives of citizens through better targeted and more coordinated government service delivery.