Much has been made of the potential for government and public agencies to address the challenges and problems they face through the more effective linkage, sharing and use of data. The authors review the opportunities and issues involved, with a particular focus on the social (including human) services sector, where some of the most challenging problems facing government exist and some of the most far-reaching and transformational changes might be achieved. Using recent developments in Australasia as illustration, the paper explores how different stakeholders see the opportunities and challenges involved and the issues and problems to be overcome. IMPACT: More effective use of data clearly holds promise but it also involves challenges. Data does not ‘speak for itself’ and public managers need to accept that they will have less monopoly over its interpretation. Instead, while remaining custodians of the public interest, they need to acknowledge a broader range of community views about how data might drive innovation.
- interpretive communities
- social sector