Qlik released new findings that build on its latest research report, titled “Emergence of the Public Sector Chief Data Officer in Asia Pacific”, which revealed that 72% of public sector Chief Data Officers (CDOs) in India regret not having invested more in data-driven initiatives before the pandemic hit. These initiatives can leverage technology to develop better citizen services like public health and mitigate the COVID-19 crisis in India.
The report, prepared by research and consultancy firm Omdia and commissioned by Qlik, analyses the state of the public sector CDO community as governments continue to adjust to a landscape disrupted by the pandemic and digital transformation. It covers four Asia Pacific (APAC) countries – Singapore, Australia, New Zealand, and India – and surveyed 103 senior public sector data executives, including 50 in India, to reveal the concerns, challenges and priorities of these CDOs.
CDOs call for more leadership support
CDOs from India still face an uphill battle in convincing their organizations of the value of data. The report found that 72% of Indian CDOs felt leadership support is crucial in helping them to perform in their role while a mere 34% of Indian public sector organizations rely on data insights when making mission-critical decisions. Additionally, over two thirds (68%) have yet to set up a data governance body, despite proof that such a body can build broader engagement, management support, and wider awareness of the value of data in key decision-making.
Top resourcing priorities: data literacy and analytics technology
Besides organizational support, Indian CDOs cited the need for data literate staff (74%) as the top resourcing priority, followed by analytics and business intelligence technology (72%) to enable data use within their organizations. When it came to technology, key concerns cited were efficient and effective use of structured and unstructured data (48%) as well as the ability to analyse large volumes of data from multiple sources (46%). The study also found that data science (54%) and data policy (46%) skills are the most sought-after among Indian public sector organizations.
As public sector organizations reposition themselves beyond COVID-19 in the future, data initiatives will become more strategic and outcome-focused. Key priorities going forward pointed out by Indian executives include improving data quality (62%), introducing new technologies (44%), and achieving a data strategy with a one-year action plan (40%). Additionally, when it came to data-related opportunities, 76% felt they could work towards providing data services to other public sector agencies and 72% were focused on providing management decision support.
“The public sector CDO role is an emerging one in India, but one that plays a very important function in ensuring that the public sector has good data pipelines set up and can be used in times of crisis,” said Varun Babbar, Managing Director, Qlik India. “As the world grapples with the ramifications of the new normal, it is heartening to see governments start to use data insights to create better citizen services around public health, welfare and immunisation. With India prioritizing investments in technology, public sector organizations will be able to act on data and finally innovate for the public good.”
Kevin Noonan, Emeritus Chief Analyst at Omdia, said, “The COVID-19 crisis has been a watershed for CDOs in APAC, prompting governments in Asia to more efficiently use data insights to create better citizen services around public health, welfare and taxation. There is a pressing need to reassess the public sector organization’s technology investment to enable a suitable strategy to meet the new normal’s emerging agility and innovation requirements. However, technology is only one piece of the puzzle. Leaders must also better define and enable the CDO role to realize data-driven decision-making.”
To help shape a confident and successful data literate society, Qlik helms the world’s first data literacy open community, the Data Literacy Project, which include leaders such as Accenture and Cognizant. Qlik also offers a Data Literacy 2.0 program with comprehensive learning resources and consulting services designed to empower employees across the organization to use data effectively – regardless of role or skill.