Creating Data-Driven Government 2

Federal Government Data Maturity Model: Drive Your Agency's 2019 Data  Strategy and Roadmap | DLT, a Tech Data company

Conducted by the SixThirty Group, “Explore Open Data” is a project targeted at fostering open data standards, assisting users and publishers to utilize open data more, and building a data-driven government. In this series, various data leaders will be interviewed.

This week’s interview involves Jay Zaidi, a data expert that established a company called AlyData in 2014. Also known as the author of Data-Driven Leader Always Win, Jay has previously worked with Fannie Mae, PwC, and Commerce One Global Service. His company focuses on assisting organizations to develop data-driven infrastructures, especially in change management, data analytics, and strategic data management.

Question: What is Data-Driven Leader Always Win about?

Jay: As explained by Klaus Schwab, the founder and leader of the World Economic Forum, we are almost at a stage where technology will change how we work, live, and relate with others. So, we are already in the Digital Revolution, otherwise called the Fourth Industrial Revolution. 

My book Data-Driven Leader Always Win sheds more light on the leadership paradigm that we are currently witnessing. Data will be vital to various organizations in this paradigm. Instead of organizational hierarchy, knowledge will be used for making decisions and granting authority. Utilizing my real-life experience, my book links numerous data management fields and how they can be applied. For organizations to win in the “Age of Data”, leaders and their staff must know data and rely on data.

Question: Why is being data-driven crucial to leaders in the public sector?

Jay: It has been noted that there is an annual increase of around 30 to 50% in data volumes of the majority of government organizations. Consequently, they need to transform their operations digitally. While this digital transformation is tasking, it can make their operations more efficient. Therefore, organizations must work around the clock to implement a data culture.

Now, everything we do is quantified and managed in social, mobile, web, and other digital domains. Social, Mobile, Analytics, and Cloud (SMAC) are behind all these technologies. Key players in the public sector should analyze Internet of Things (IoT) data and organizational big data to learn more about citizens, reduce costs, identify fraud, reduce risk, and improve efficiency.

Question: You explain “Dark Data” in your book. What is the importance of Dark Data to public decision-making?

Jay: Dark Data is a set of information collected, processed, and stored without being used for any significant purpose. As much as 85% of the data assets in the majority of organizations are Dark Data. If Dark Data is used appropriately, it can assist decision-makers in different ways.

Without mincing words, Dark Data is the main source of issues for security and privacy. Besides, it takes up a large portion of the running budget and infrastructure of the CIO. Therefore, public sector leaders and policymakers need to get more value out of Dark Data.

Question: Can Open Data provide a solution to Dark Data?

Jay: Open Data is believed to be a potential solution to Dark Data. Nonetheless, it is not enough to release Dark Data; it must be analyzed expertly and properly. It can reveal so many things that would have been missed and help consumers.

Question: What do you recommend for a government organization that would like to create a data-driven organizational culture?

Jay: In one of the chapters in my book, I explained 6 important ingredients for developing a data-driven culture. These ingredients include promoting a startup culture, paying attention to the needs of consumers, innovating, focusing on the changes in the conditions of the market and adjusting accordingly, building a sturdy data platform, and aligning goals and incentives between the organization and IT agencies.