Minister of National Development Planning Bambang Brodjonegoro said that the International Conference on Data Revolution for Policy Makers, which kicked off in Jakarta on Tuesday (21/02), is fully supported by the Indonesian government. (Photo courtesy of Bappenas)

International Conference Highlights Importance of Big Data Analysis in Policymaking

BY : SHEANY

FEBRUARY 22, 2017

Jakarta. The International Conference on Data Revolution for Policy Makers kicked off in Jakarta on Tuesday (21/02), with more than three hundred participants in discussions on the opportunities and challenges in utilizing big data for policymaking.

Indonesia is home to millions of digital tech users and has some of the richest digital data sources in the world.

Big data, their quantity and variety, give new opportunities for policymakers – from managing citizen's involvement in data collection and analysis, to gaining insights into all kinds of complexities that inform the developing world.

In the opening speech, Minister of National Development Planning Bambang Brodjonegoro said the conference is fully supported by the Indonesian government.

"The ability of policymakers to utilize various data sources, including digital footprints, can help the government in making fast and proper decisions," Bambang said.

The minister added that high quality data carry accurate information for officials to design, monitor and evaluate policies, while big data should be used alongside traditional ones to improve policymaking and development planning.

"Data can increase the quality of public policies and increase Indonesia's competitiveness," he said.

United Nations Global Pulse director Robert Kirkpatrick stressed the importance of using data analysis technology by showing how data science and analytics can contribute to sustainable development.

"In order to measure progress of the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda in a digitally interconnected world, it will depend on our ability to see new sources from real-time data and innovative technologies to provide information for the purposes of policymaking," Kirkpatrick said.

According to UN resident coordinator Douglas Broderick, data-empowered communities are Indonesia's future.

"Timely and quality data is essential, it gives governments the opportunity to make the right decisions especially in challenging situations. Data can provide insight and should be accessible wherever, whenever it is needed," he said.

Justin Lee, deputy head of mission at the Australian embassy, said that data for policy "has a potential to address challenges of inequalities and development."

The conference is organized by the National Development Planning Agency (Bappenas) and Pulse Lab Jakarta, in collaboration with Knowledge Sector Initiative.

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