Data can ‘transform the lives of the citizen’, said Edwina Dunn, speaking at a packed Government conference last week. Addressing 500 delegates at the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) Analytical Community Conference, Dunn made the case for data ‘as a force for good’ in the ability of big data in Government to transform the lives of people by providing goods and services based on their needs.
Challenging some of the negative stories around data usage that have arisen this year, Dunn explained how big data in Government can be beneficial with the wealth of data now available making forecasting easier and enhances opportunities for effective and efficient interaction with customers. She said: “Early interventions and indicators will save people money, help citizens prepare better for retirement, perhaps prevent illness by revealing triggers – this in turn will improve the economy as a whole.”
Dunn presented the key ways in which data is used in customer insight, tying this in with her own career path and passion for data in business. She emphasised the need for the DWP to be timely, relevant and efficient with forecasting trends, understanding how dynamics and expectations change. She also pointed out that changes in job profiles meant that many jobs won’t exist in the future owing to AI, robots and machine learning.
Dunn emphasised the fact that data is “the biggest differentiator in having an advantage”, citing examples such as Amazon. These practical, critical success factors to data transformation are detailed in our recent Whitepaper, 7 steps to Data Transformation. Starcount has experience working on the particular challenges facing the public sector, including with Ordnance Survey, putting them on a path to realising the value of their data assets in the new digital age.
Dunn has also just been named as one 100 Women to Watch as part of the Female FTSE report by Cranfield School of Management. She was praised for her work at Starcount, measuring ‘global tastes and trends of 1.7 billion people across 12 of the world’s largest social networks’. The report also highlighted the fact Dunn ‘reinvented customer relationships’ and commended her role as ‘Founder of The Female Lead, working in schools promoting diversity and providing role models for young women and work as ‘Chair of Your Life, encouraging more careers in STEM industries.’