Executive Summary

Big Data Strategy – Issues Paper

By Australian Government Department of Finance and Deregulation
Summarized by Anna Frankart

The purpose of this paper is to present the opportunities that big data and other new tools offer the Australian government agencies, and what concerns might arise from them.

1. Introduction
Big data is a high-volume, high-velocity, and high-variety information asset. Data, mainly unstructured, is growing due to individuals, organizations, the transfer from analogue to digital, and the growth of Internet capable devices. The main goal is for the government to use this data to increase the Public Sector Information and create personalized services for every citizen. The main challenge is ensuring the benefits of big data while still protecting the privacy of the public, especially considering the new Privacy Act.

2. Opportunities for Australian Government agencies
Big data can only be useful if the agencies are able to manage the volume, velocity, and variety of it. It can be used for healthcare, medical and other sciences, and meteorology. The areas that big data can influence are: data management, personalization of services, problem solving and predictive analytics, and productivity and efficiency. The areas in the ICT that big data will improve are: The delivery of better services, improved efficiency of government operations, and open engagement across government organizations.

3. Challenges
The government agencies need to continue to comply with the various act and regulations to ensure the privacy of the citizens, while still making the data accessible to the public. The data will need to be accurate and complete in order to produce the most benefits from it. The biggest concern of this is personally identifiable information being extracted, but AGIMO is seeking advice from other departments to remedy this concern. Public trust in the government plays a large roll in introducing big data to the government agencies.

Big data also requires a lot of technology and people to make it functional. The National Broadband Network will provide bandwidth needed to support the big data system. But, currently there is not enough qualified professionals focused on big data. However, there is a push for universities to begin developing education for this field of study.

4. The Way Forward
The objectives to be reached in order for the ICT Strategy to work are; leveraging big data in small government agencies to improve the management of data sets and government operations, ensuring the privacy rights of the Australian public and develop better privacy policies and services, and encouraging the release of PSI. To complete the big data strategy, AGIMO needs to support: cross-agency big data working groups, collaboration with the Whole-of-Government Data Analytics Centre of Excellence, and develop guidance to OAIC’s recommendations and privacy implications of big data.