A thousand flowers in bloom: data access and sharing for a stronger Australia
Every Brilliant Thing rehearsal room.


Philanthropy Australia, 15 September 2023
Kristi Mansfield, CEO & Co-founder of SEER DATA

In the age of information, data has become the currency of progress, innovation, and equity. Access to and the responsible sharing of data are pivotal in shaping a fairer and stronger Australia. 

National policy commitments, such as the Commonwealth’s initiatives to address entrenched disadvantage and improve outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, underscore the importance of shared access to data at a regional level. Philanthropy has a critical and important role to play and many grantmakers are already actively supporting capability building for greater use of data and evidence to improve outcomes in the not-for-profit sector. 

Seer Data, in partnership with Amazon Web Services, invites you to explore the transformative shift taking place in the landscape of data access and sharing. We will discuss the urgency to harness the power of data for the greater good with national leaders from Government, philanthropy, and not-for-profits at two upcoming events in Sydney and Canberra (see below). The Canberra event is a side event being held the day before Philanthropy Australia’s Philanthropy Meets Parliament Summit.

A macro shift in data access

At the Sydney event, Dr Ian Oppermann, Chief Data Scientist of NSW and Alister Ferguson, Founder of Maranguka, will explore the paradigm shift in data access and sharing through the lens of the Palimaa Data Platform and the NSW Government’s commitment to sharing data to support community-led decision-making.

The barriers to data access and sharing are not insurmountable; they are being replaced by willingness, permission, and safety. This signals a significant change in mindset and practices surrounding data and NSW is leading the way for other states and territories. 

The data divide problem

The data divide exists because of a lack of equitable access and utilisation of data, creating a stark contrast between those who have it and those who do not. The issue is not always the absence of data; it’s the overwhelming, inconsistent, and often confusing abundance of it. This data chaos obstructs informed decision-making.

Compounding the problem is an outdated authorising environment that is unwilling, unable, or simply not allowed to adapt to the new data paradigm. We are breaking new ground to ensure data, both Open data and restricted data held by governments and businesses, is recognised as a public resource and can be used to improve outcomes and support innovation. 

When we make data accessible and usable at a granular level on a regular cadence, we start to support local decisions that build data capability, literacy, and confidence, as well as addressing the trust deficit between governments and the community.

Enablers of data access and sharing

One of the key enablers in this transformative journey is the adoption of data governance frameworks and new data sharing standards. These frameworks provide a structured approach to managing and sharing data responsibly, ensuring privacy and security are at the forefront of any data-driven initiatives.  We are now seeing the emergence of what we call the Community Data Ecosystem, and this is what will power better local decisions and improved outcomes. 

Trust and the community data ecosystem

Trust is central to all relationships that play a role in the ecosystem. Building and strengthening trust and connectivity between citizens, communities, governments, not-for-profits and service providers requires enabling open and effective communication of insight and collaborative sense-making. Access to shared information is the key.

Communities are increasingly demanding that governments provide more comprehensive and authentic access to the data assets they hold in trust to allow communities to solve local challenges. Communities are also collecting their own data and are seeking for these data assets to be visible and utilised for local decision-making together with Government data.

Empowering local actions

We have been working in the ecosystem for more than 7 years.  We are seeing tangible outcomes as a result of using data as an instrument of positive change in the 50 places where we are empowering community leaders with data at the heart of decision making. By leveraging data, progress, innovation, and equity can be achieved. 

The landscape of data access and sharing is undergoing a profound transformation in Australia. Seer Data’s commitment to empowering communities through data-driven decision-making is at the forefront of this change.