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Data+Policy - Getting real policy insights from the data analytics tsunami

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Village Roadshow Theatrette, State Library of Victoria Conference Centre

179 La Trobe Street

Melbourne, VIC 3000

Australia

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The availability of data has exploded in recent years. With new open platforms, it has become easier than ever to access and analyse information. This wave of available information has provided opportunity for innovation, disrupting many sectors of the economy. However, critical insights that directly inform public policy development are often hidden within large disconnected datasets. Too often analysts create interesting, often beautiful visualisations, but don’t directly address a policy problem. This requires the close cooperation of domain experts and technical specialists.

SGS aspires to continuously learn, create knowledge and constructively contribute to the formulation of good public policy and investment decisions. This SGS Seminar will investigate the emergence of data and digital platforms, looking at how they can directly impact good public policy and infrastructure investment, creating the sustainable communities of our future.

Join the SGS team and our guest panel to discuss this topic further. The panel will include Julian Szafraniec, Ellen Broad and Dr Jack Barton.

Julian Szafraniec is the National Leader for Data and Spatial Analytics at SGS Economics and Planning. He has extensive experience applying economic theories and models to urban and regional issues across Australia and internationally. Using a range of datasets, Julian has created tools which show spatial patterns hidden in the data. This has provided policy makers with the insight required to make informed decisions about the future of our communities.

“I am passionate about understanding how we can better shape policy and investment to make all of our lives better. I believe data, and spatial data in particular, is critical to ensure we make more informed and dynamic decisions. There is huge potential in the explosion if information now available, but only if we ask the right question.” – Julian Szafraniec

Ellen Broad is an expert in open data, data sharing, privacy and ethics. Ellen recently returned to Australia from the UK, where she was Head of Policy for the Open Data Institute and expert adviser on data to the then Environment Secretary (now Lord Chancellor and Justice Secretary) Elisabeth Truss. Ellen designed the open data board game, Datopolis together with ODI CEO Jeni Tennison, which is being played in 19 countries. Her writing has been published in the New Scientist, Huffington Post and a range of government and technology publications.

"There's an abundance of data around us, and new tools and techniques emerging every day to help us maximise its value. But often we lack the skills and organisational culture to unlock its potential, through greater collaboration and data sharing. Changing our data culture is a key challenge. Understanding how to use data appropriately and ethically is another." – Ellen Broad

Dr Jack Barton is the Urban Data and e-Research Facilitator for the Australian Urban Research Infrastructure Network (AURIN). Jack is focused on developing urban decision support systems and leads AURIN’s outreach program, collaborating closely with research, industry and government stakeholders across the country.

“We are in an unprecedented era where we, as a species, are generating and capturing vast volumes of data. Concurrently, we are at a critical time where our decisions will have long lasting ramifications as to the quality of our culture within its environment. We need powerful, yet accessible, decision–support frameworks to maintain an evidence-based policies to effectively manage our cities into a sustainable future.” – Dr Jack Barton

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Village Roadshow Theatrette, State Library of Victoria Conference Centre

179 La Trobe Street

Melbourne, VIC 3000

Australia

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