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47% of data officers in APAC government agencies lack job clarity: Qlik, Omdia

47% of data officers in APAC government agencies lack job clarity: Qlik, Omdia
Geoff Thomas, senior vice president, Asia Pacific, Qlik  |  Photo Credit: Qlik
19 Apr, 2021

Nearly one in two (47%) Asia Pacific (APAC) chief digital officers (CDO) in the state-controlled agencies felt their roles lacked clarity in job definition and execution or both, as per findings of a report that Qlik and Omdia will announce on Tuesday. 

In an interaction with TechCircle ahead of the announcement, Qlik APAC head Geoff Thomas said that India, from a data literacy perspective, has a bright future. 

Read: India has highest data literacy, but also most data-stressed workforce: Accenture-Qlik report  

“A lot of the government initiatives will creation an explosion of data. It’s happening right now, with smart schools, smart freeways, smart everything, several Internet-of-Things use cases. Something has to happen to all that data, to get full value and insights,” the senior vice president told TechCircle

About 49% of the surveyed respondents were data officers of Indian government agencies and ministries. The report titled “Emergence of the Public Sector Chief Data Officer in APAC” surveyed 103 senior public sector data executives across Australia (25), New Zealand (8), India, and Singapore (20). 

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. 

Only 36% of APAC agencies see data governance as a priority, compared to 71% in the United States. Only 65% of APAC agencies routinely rely on data insights when making mission-critical decisions, compared to 93% in the US. Singapore at 80% accounts for having the strongest focus on data insights in the region. 

“All employees need to empowered to be able to work with data, It’s not just having the right technology. It’s also about having the right training, having a programme that’s tailored to an organization, which increases the overall level of data literacy,” Thomas told TechCircle. 

Additionally, Thomas recommended re-looking of technology investments of government agencies and ministries to meet future demands, for real-time data and inter-government data sharing. 

While CDO is by far the most common job title but is only used in 31% of the surveyed government agencies. Alternative job titles fell within six other groupings -- Head of Data Analytics, Head of Data Science, Head of Data Architecture, Head of Data Governance, Head of Data Engineering, and others. 

While the survey was undertaken by research and consultancy firm Omdia, it was commissioned by end-to-end business analytics platform provider Qlik.  

Other insights from the report: 

  1. 57% of CDOs having less than two years of experience in that role  
  2. 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. 
  3. Besides organizational support, CDOs cited analytics and business intelligence technology as the top resourcing priority (73%) to enable data use within their organizations. 
  4. CDOs voiced technical and strategic concerns for implementing data technology, such as integrating data, finding the right technology partner, and upskilling public sector workers. 
  5. Key priorities at public sector organizations in APAC include improving data quality (51%), introducing new technologies (49%), and achieving a data strategy with a one-year action plan (42%). 

 “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,” Kevin Noonan, emeritus chief analyst at Omdia, said in a statement.