Better results rely on better information and analysis. The 'data revolution' is as much relevant to how we work in the public services as it is increasingly in the private sector. Our agencies are linking data from different agencies to understand how New Zealanders interact with government services and to understand the impact of services on outcomes such as employment and earnings, benefit receipt and educational attainment. There is scope, and need, to expand the range of data available for analysis and policy purposes.
Significant untapped potential also exists in analysing policy and operational issues from a location perspective. Knowing where service demands are greatest, where services are delivered, and where coincidence or gaps exist between these locations creates a clearer evidence base for more effective decision-making and operational planning. Digital technology and geospatial mapping is enabling a vast expansion of data that we create in the course of daily life.
Public data collected by government agencies belongs to New Zealanders and they should be able to benefit from it. The default position should be that public (non-personal) data should be open, accessible and available for re-use. Innovative re-use of this data by business and communities creates new knowledge, tools, insights, and businesses which are contributing to economic growth and social outcomes.
The NZ Data Futures Forum was established to explore how New Zealand businesses, government, researchers and the public can safely share data and use it to build a prosperous New Zealand. The Forumâ€Ÿs recommendations are a framework for capturing the strategic social and economic opportunities that could come from data sharing in and between New Zealand's public and private sectors. The Government Statistician is leading advice to Government on the Forumâ€Ÿs recommendations and this will be of interest to all chief executives and Ministers. Some significant decisions may be involved, including reform of relevant statutes.
Making better use of data, insights and analysis, together with more innovation, are already affecting decision-making on investment. The investment approach in the Welfare area is one example, and other sectors are making better use of information to manage long-term costs and achieve better outcomes for all New Zealanders. We are committed to ensuring that budget decisions taken by Ministers are supported by evidence-based, well-targeted and effectively evaluated information – so that we keep learning from what works.