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Digital Transformation Agency sponsors hackathon to unlock potential benefits of open data in Australia

Digital Transformation Agency sponsors hackathon to unlock potential benefits of open data in Australia

Teams of developers, coders, designers, analysts and others will participate in the GovHack 2018 event. In the open data hackathon, the teams will be using open data to develop solutions and services that are aimed at benefiting the broader community.

According to the report released by the Digital Transformation Agency (DTA), the DTA will be the lead national agency sponsor of GovHack 2018, which will be supporting the innovative use of open data and helping to unlock its potential value.

Open data is publicly-available data that anyone can access, use or share. It holds a potential wealth of information. Recent research has suggested that making data publicly available for re-use could generate up to A$ 25 billion each year.

GovHack has grown from a small event in 2009, to a volunteer run and community driven annual event.

It is a two-day event held simultaneously around Australia to create working prototypes with government data and to help find new ways to solve the challenges facing government and contributes towards social and economic development.

The event includes a number of locations around Australia with participation from federal, state and local governments.

3,000 people across 36 locations in Australia and New Zealand participated in last year’s GovHack. They formed teams and worked on 430 projects so they can help generate insights and solve problems for Australia.

DTA Chief Executive Officer Randall Brugeaud explained that as the lead national agency sponsor for the event this year, the DTA will help thousands of local innovators realise the value of open data and the potential benefits it can offer.

Some of the innovations that were created by GovHack participants in the previous years include visualised data, 3D models, and they have even developed new apps that utilise open data in order to create services for the public.

Mr Brugeaud added that this sponsorship just demonstrates the ongoing commitment of DTA to optimise the use and re-use of open data. At the same time, DTA is driving collaboration with other sectors to extend the value of open data for the benefit of all Australians.

Governments collect and publish enormous amounts of data, but have limited resources to get it into the hands of their citizens in engaging ways.

GovHack is an event to draw together people from government, industry, academia and the general public to mashup, reuse, and remix government data.

All national agencies are being encouraged, as part of the Australian Government’s open data initiative, to make their data available for re-use on the data.gov.au website. Nearly 30,000 datasets have been published on data.gov.au since 2013.

Mr Brugeaud shared that the DTA is the Government’s lead delivery agency for open data, managing the National Map and data.gov.au. In doing so, they are continuing to encourage government agencies to make their data available for re-use.

He added that with the launch of a new data.gov.au platform that features greater functionality and search capabilities, it will be even easier to re-use open data soon.

This move will help innovators, especially those who are taking part in this year’s GovHack event to unlock even more value from open data.

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