Nov 02 2020
Unlocking the Value of Data: Three Recommendations for GCC Governments

With every internet search, scroll through social media, and email sent across the internet, data is created. It’s estimated that every two years, the volume of data across the world doubles, and that pace is only accelerating as technology and the Internet of Things grows globally. But with any revolution – cultural or technological – there is a point at which governments must step in to regulate.

According to Samer Al-Ahmadieh, author of the report Unlocking the Value of Data, that time has come and gone. Across the world, national governments are enacting laws to define data strategies, establish clear roles and responsibilities, and determine privacy and personal information protection. Despite this, Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries are moving slowly in comparison to global standards towards a more transparent, digitally-enabled public service.

“Establishing enabling laws and regulations and creating clear roles and responsibilities, governments signal a commitment to promoting transparency and affirming citizens’ rights to access public data,” says Armando Cubillan, Palladium Director of Consulting in EMEA. “A national data strategy sets a nationwide direction and aligns internal efforts, rather than being fragmented.”

In the report, Al-Ahmadieh details the three recommendations for GCC countries to consider in an effort to better regulate and leverage the value of data at a government level. Based on best practices in countries such as Canada, South Korea, and France, the report recommends creating a more enabling legislative environment, establishing data responsibility across the government, and enacting a national data strategy.

While some GCC countries are starting to assign clear data-focussed government roles, it’s only one step in the right direction. The creation of a coherent government-wide vision for strategic data use and management by the public sector is crucial for countries who want to be more purposeful with their data collection and usage across government bodies. In doing so, governments will open doors to further collaboration with the private sector and international community.

But Al-Ahmadieh warns that “without the basic building blocks of enabling legislation, clear responsibility, and a well-defined data strategy, these collaborations will be set up to fail.”

Download the report and contact for more information.