Lines image

Government focused day at Smarter Data, Smarter World 2020

By Phillip Ridley

This year our annual conference Smarter Data, Smarter World in 2020 went virtual. On the second day of the conference we hosted a Government focused day with particular emphasis on how the world's authoritative geospatial data enables Governments to deliver public services to have a greater impact on our communities.

During the day we had keynote presentations discussing the economic, environmental and societal need for authoritative data and how 1Spatial’s platform which includes our Location Master Data Management (LMDM) software, solutions and targeted business applications to produce, maintain and deliver the worlds most trusted authoritative datasets.

For those that were unable to attend the event, Authoritative Data was defined as:

“Data provided by or on behalf of a public body (authority) which has an official mandate to provide and sustain it, that is based on a set of criteria to ensure (inter alia) known data quality, and that is required to be used or aimed towards extensive use and reuse within the public sector and society as a whole”. (Crompvoets et al. 2019)

One of the main topics of conversation regarding authoritative data, was the rise in its use during 2020 in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. The use of authoritative geospatial data provided Governments with the spatial context to make life-critical, evidence-based decisions, by giving them the understanding of the place where those decisions have an effect. The impact of the decisions made using authoritative data highlights the need for the data to be trusted and to be of good quality. As Adam Burke (Natural Resources Wales) quoted, ‘any decision made in the absence of good data is basically just a guess’.

With the new focus and recognised importance of authoritative geospatial data, greater emphasis is being placed on how it is governed. One of our panellists, Simon Roberts (Scottish Improvement Service) said, 'data is only as good as the importance that is placed on it’.

To cope with this greater demand for good quality data, and increasing demands on budgets, producers of authoritative data are having to implement innovative ways in which to make their geospatial data available. Increasingly across the world we are seeing data being published on geoportals with automated data workflows in place to streamline the production, whilst ensuring the data is trusted and can be re-used.

The research and development into 1Spatial’s  platform continues to adapt to ensure that changing user needs are met. An example presented on the government day was 1Spatial’s new 3D capability and how this creates new insights and perspectives to decision-making. Another example is 1Spatial’s automated data supply chain validation tool 1DataGateway. If you would like more information on either of these, you can find on-demand webinars on our website.

The question that resonated the most with me, from our panel session leaves a good base for authoritative data as we move into 2021: '2020 has seen the world change dramatically, what do you think the future role of authoritative data will be in a post Covid-19 world?'

Adam Burke, Natural Resources Wales: It is going to create a big role for location/geographic data in the continued fight against Covid 19, and the use of authoritative data, as seen in the press, is only increasing.

Carol Agius, EuroGeographics: The need for data will increase and that will provide a challenge of how to keep up with the demand for data. Therefore, it will create a need for finding automated ways to collect and manage the data to ensure a slick process to make the data available.

Simon Roberts, Scottish Improvement Service: Everyone recognises that the role of authoritative data is crucial to the response to Covid-19. A word of warning; the right data experts need to be involved at the top to understand the decisions that are needed to be made. Furthermore, we need to understand the data, and the best way to collect and use the data, in particular geospatial data to ensure that it is being used effectively.

This is just a taste of the government days presentations and discussions, if you would like to watch the full presentations or a particular session again, you can access all of the content on-demand on our website.

If you have any questions for us, please do not hesitate to get in touch.