Saturday, 23 July 2016 12:56

Dominello says 'seven Ds or you are dead' Featured


NSW minister for innovation and better regulation Victor Dominello delivered the ministerial address at Fujitsu World Tour 2016 in Sydney. His message was brutally clear: “The NSW government has to be data driven to maintain its leadership. If a department comes to me without the seven Ds in place, then I tell them to go away.”

Dominello is an affable, straight-shooting, former lawyer and now a rising star politician in the NSW government. He has also been one of the most passionate advocates for digitisation and data. He has often said we are in the information age where data is the fuel.

His job is to digitise the NSW government, and he has the teeth, via an act of parliament, to do it. As he said “Innovation in government? Sounded like Mission Impossible to me!”

He told delegates to the Fujitsu World Tour that it all revolved around the seven Ds. Let’s add an eighth – Dominello, and a ninth – death, if you are not digitised.

The following is paraphrased:

1. Data

Data is an intrinsic asset, a balance sheet asset. I want data right now, not in days, weeks, months or when you get around to collecting and analysing it. I want you to understand the value in it.

2. Digital

I want digital, not paper. Every time you design or use a paper form to collect data you are admitting you are not serious about digitalisation. Digital saves everyone time – tell us once so we can make better decisions.

3. Direct

I want it now. If it is old, it is of limited use. What is the use of five-year-old census data? It is just a marker in time. Data needs to be real-time.

4. Displayed

I want to see data visualised so we can take our limited capacity to understand it and apply it to things we understand to make better decisions.

5. Dissected

Don’t give me a table of figures – slice, dice, and analyse it visually. Yes, we need raw data, but we need it analysed so that informed decisions come from it.

6. DNA

If you have mastered the previous five Ds, then Data and Digitalisation is in your grasp.

7. Dimension – as in 3RD dimension

How do we use data going forward to see bigger changes in the world? Think VR, AR, Holography, and so much more.

Dominello cited examples of resistance within the NSW government until parliament enacted legislation to implement the NSW Data Analytics Centre. “It was a natural inclination to hold on to the data you have collected – not to hand it over. NSW has the power to mandate sharing, and it is giving us some seriously powerful insights.”

It struck a very deep chord with delegates.

Post Note: Victor Dominello has kindly supplied a fuller version of his 7Ds

In order to reach our Nirvana, we need to accelerate our path to digitisation.

In order to accelerate our exponential change to digital, we need to embrace the following magnificent 7Ds.

As a former lawyer, I have a particular penchant for evidence. Evidence is critical to decision making and underpins good government. Whether it is transport, fair trading, environment or planning. Data is at the heart of good government. Data, subject to strong privacy and security safeguards, should also be opened up. This strengthens accountability and therefore our precious democracy. It also the fuel for economic growth in the new economy.

Data needs to be in digital format. Paper requires pen. Pen requires time. Let’s allocate more of our precious time to things of beauty and joy, such as poetry and art, rather than manual paper process. In a digital world, we can ensure that our citizens spend less time on us and more time on them. There will still be those citizens who are ingrained in the slow paper based systems. As we transition, we need to put resources to educate and assist those who are not digitally connected. If we are still using a fax machine or pdf format in 2016, we might as well go to the well with a bucket. This must and will change.

Data should, where humanly possible, be provided in real time. How can we shape our future when we can’t measure our present? We often need to make urgent and critical decisions. However, too often the best evidence available will be that which is buried in historical reports. Census reports that are produced every 5 years are increasingly viewed as a marker of change rather than a predictor for the future. In decision making, the weight given to non-current data diminishes with the pace of change. The faster the pace the more immediate the evidence must be. Real time data will enable us to make the best decisions for our citizens.

In our fallible human form, we are creatures of sight. Even those who are visually impaired, picture things in their mind’s eye. This is because a picture paints a thousand words. Display enables us to process information faster and gain insights visually. The amount of data and information in the world is increasing beyond comprehension. Yet we still have only 24hrs in every day to process it. Bring on the exponential processing speeds quantum computing and the machine learning algorithms!

We need to analyse the data, cut and dice it and draw insights and learning. This proposition requires no analysis.

If we routinely execute the above 5 steps then we begin to engrain the digital age into our culture.

The last D should end with the future. The digital world is displayed predominately through screens. It is still 2 dimensional. Humans can readily relate to this number 2. We have 2 eyes. 2 ears. 2 legs. 2 arms. 2 chambers of the heart. 2 hemispheres of the brain. So when we move to the third digital dimension of holograms – it will truly be a magic leap into the future. Another exponential change. This 3D digital world is on our doorstep. Governments of the future need to start embracing this change today.

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Ray Shaw

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Ray Shaw  has a passion for IT ever since building his first computer in 1980. He is a qualified journalist, hosted a consumer IT based radio program on ABC radio for 10 years, has developed world leading software for the events industry and is smart enough to no longer own a retail computer store!

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