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Goal 1: Use data for better policies, programs and services

This section examines the problem statement: Major policy, infrastructure and service reform opportunities are being missed due to an inability to obtain data insights with 3 responses and suggested actions.

Problem: Major policy, infrastructure and service reform opportunities are being missed due to an inability to obtain data insights

Data provides evidence for policy advice, programs and service design. Richer insights result in better decisions. Conversely, making critical choices without the best information at hand can have wide-ranging negative consequences.

There are many factors that hold government back. VPS teams may not have the work practices or capabilities required to do complex analytics. Poor quality data may hinder decision makers. A policy question may require inputs from an agency unwilling to share.

Such factors require a range of responses. This strategy proposes a tiered approach — delivering incremental value via priority projects, while addressing systemic issues to help the VPS generate data insights at scale.

Response 1: Use analytics to accelerate priority policies and projects

Analytics techniques can be applied in many ways, such as forecasting the impact of potential policies, developing nuanced and differentiated approaches to complex problems, or measuring performance and outcomes.

VCDI’s ‘lighthouse’ analytics projects deliver immediate results and signal to others what can be achieved. High-value partnerships with VPS agencies on priority projects provide inspiration and guidance for others to follow, with models and code made available for re-use where similar challenges exist.

Actions

A Identify and scope major analytics opportunities across the VPS.

B Deliver and promote high-impact analytics outcomes for the Victorian Government.

C Develop a whole-of-government algorithm and code-sharing library for VPS analytics teams to borrow from and contribute to.

Response 2: Maximise insights within VPS agencies through strategic approaches to data

VPS agencies are adopting strategies to improve their data capabilities.

The first step is identifying unmet business needs or challenges where data capability or management issues are blockers. VCDI’s data strategists can help pinpoint key data asset, governance, tech and workforce changes to overcome impediments and deliver ‘quick wins’ to show value. Our immersive support helps teams embed modern work practices and other changes to achieve lasting agency transformation.

Actions

A Assist VPS agencies to develop and implement data strategies.

B Deliver immersive support to key teams within VPS agencies to improve capabilities.

C Provide templates and other artefacts for strategy development and new ways of working.

Response 3: Improve VPS data sharing for cross-portfolio policy design and joined-up service delivery

Data sharing across government is crucial to tackling the complex, cross-portfolio challenges of government. A big step in this direction is the VCDI-led development of the Victorian Data Sharing Act 2017, which is used to bring together cross-VPS data for analysis.

The transformative potential of better using data to disrupt and change the way government works is substantial. Work underway with the Victorian Social Investment Integrated Data Resource (VSIIDR), a proof-of-concept using cross-portfolio linked data, demonstrates this — identifying and understanding clients common across the health, human services, education and justice portfolios to redesign how social services are delivered.

With agencies calling out for cross-VPS data for a wide range of policy and service needs, VCDI proposes to extend the VSIIDR proof-of-concept to a full-service solution, to make sharing easier and data more appropriately accessible and useable for different users and consumers of VPS data.

Actions

A Design and pilot a VPS data sharing service within DPC with appropriate whole of VPS governance, supported by a modern, privacy-preserving platform.

B Commence data acquisition from across the VPS and elsewhere for cross-portfolio analytics use-cases that inform the design and costing of the full data sharing service, and maintain the datasets as enduring assets.

C Commence a business case to seek funding for the full data sharing service from 2022-23.

Reviewed 13 February 2020

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