Dominello promises new open data push for NSW

‘TripAdvisor for open data’ coming

New South Wales minister for finance, services and property, Victor Dominello, has foreshadowed a new open data initiative for the state that he is hoping to take the wraps off later this year.

“I’m still hoping by the middle of this year to launch a really big program when it comes to opening up data,” the minister today told the Gartner Data and Analytics Summit in Sydney. “And I want it to be the best, the boldest, the brassiest that we’ve got in the country because I really believe in the power of open data.”

Dominello said the initiative would be akin to a “TripAdvisor for open data in New South Wales” with “its own analytics piece built into it”.

The NSW government in 2016 released an updated open data policy (the state’s initial open data policy launched in 2013).

The policy outlines six key principles for government agencies. Under the policy data should be “Open by default, protected where required”, “Prioritised, discoverable and usable”, “Primary and timely”, “Well managed, trusted and authoritative”, “Free where appropriate”, and “Subject to public input”.

Dominello oversaw the establishment of the NSW Data Analytics Centre (DAC) in his previous role as NSW minister for innovation and better regulation, including passing enabling legislation for the initiative. The minister was promoted following the retirement of Mike Baird and the installation of Gladys Berejiklian as premier.

The minister has previously described the creation of the DAC as possibly his single biggest achievement in public life.

Two of the recent data-driven projects by the government outlined today by Dominello were FuelCheck – an online tool that displays petrol prices across the state in real time – and oversight of smart meter rollouts in NSW.

Dominello said that NSW is in the beginning stages of building a data lake that can be drawn on to power analytics efforts by government agencies.

“Whether it’s petrol prices coming in, whether it’s greenslip claim forms coming in, whatever it is – it’s all coming into a lake,” the minister said.

“That lake is then the data reservoir for not just my cluster in the Department of Finance, Services and Innovation; we will start bringing other clusters in.”

Sitting on top of the data lake will be the NSW DAC, Dominello said.

“We are way ahead of every other state and territory in the country. Way ahead. And I think we’re still going to slow – I want to go much, much faster,” he added.