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Public Sector data officers face multiple challenges in APAC

Focus on Public Sector: 1st of 2 studies
Bangalore, May 23, 2021: Software-as-a-service company Qlik and consulting firm Omdia   recently released findings from a new research report, which revealed that Asia Pacific (APAC) public sector organizations have yet to develop a clear understanding of the importance of data and the emerging role of the Chief Data Officer (CDO) to the organization.
The report found that nearly one in two APAC CDOs (47%) felt their roles lacked clarity in job definition, job execution, or both. The report also found that 75% of CDOs regretted not having invested more in data-driven initiatives before the pandemic hit, which potentially will impact their ability to use technology to develop better citizen services like public health. 
The  report,  Emergence of the Public Sector Chief Data Officer in APAC analyzes the state of the public sector CDO community in APAC as governments continue to adjust to a landscape disrupted by the pandemic and digital transformation. The report surveyed 103 senior public sector data executives across Australia and New Zealand, India, and Singapore and reveals the concerns, challenges and priorities of these CDOs. 
APAC CDOs still face an uphill battle in convincing their organizations of the value of data. To date, less than half (44%) of APAC organizations rely on data insights when making mission-critical decisions. Almost two thirds (62%) of public sector organizations have yet to set up a data governance body, despite proof that such a body can build management support and broader awareness of the value of data in decision-making. 62% of CDOs felt leadership support is crucial in helping them perform in their role.   
Top resourcing priorities: analytics technology and data literacy 
Besides organizational support, CDOs cited analytics and business intelligence technology as the top resourcing priority (73%) to enable data use within their organizations. CDOs voiced technical and strategic concerns for implementing data technology, such as integrating data, finding the right technology partner, and upskilling public sector workers. The study found data science (50%) and data policy (49%) as the most sought-after skills among public sector organizations. Besides skills, the CDOs surveyed also expressed the needs for establishing a corporate culture of using data to support decisions (71%) and a more data literate workforce (68%).  
As public sector organizations in APAC reposition themselves beyond COVID-19 in the next twelve months, data initiatives will become more strategic and outcome-focused. Key priorities include improving data quality (51%), introducing new technologies (49%), and achieving a data strategy with a one-year action plan (42%). 
“Public sector CDOs in APAC need to help their organizations understand the value of data and create a data-literate culture which enables employees to act on it,” added Geoff Thomas, Senior Vice President, Asia Pacific at Qlik. “CDOs don’t have to go on this journey on their own. There’s a multitude of resources from the community help public sector agencies, executives, and staff get started, including those offered by The Data Literacy Project. At the same time, technology partners can consult on the most effective data strategy to inform decision-making. APAC public sector CDOs have a real chance to apply the lessons learnt during COVID-19 to rethink how to serve citizens in new ways using data as the foundation for innovation.” 

Download the “Emergence of the Public Sector Chief Data Officer in APAC” report here.  
The other study on public sector  tech challenges here