Why trust is key to enabling a data-driven culture

One huge challenge to inculcating such a culture is that employees don’t know if they can trust the system, said Wong Ming Fai, Chief Information Officer, SPRING Singapore.

By Kareyst Lin
Jan. 4, 2017

This allows SPRING officers to be more informed before they visit or when engaging with the company, and this would help them craft a more fruitful discussion that is focused on things that they don't know.

Another useful function of data analytics is that through link analysis and graph visualisations, SPRING officers will be able to see how different business entities are related to one another. "The linkages can come from many different sources, and we are starting on the ones that we have access to. Each of them gives you one more piece to the jigsaw puzzle, so a lot of times it might not be a single piece that is conclusive enough to decide something, but you start to see the many linkages between two parties," Wong explained.

Leveling up the entire organisation's culture to be more data-driven

The current data analytics efforts in SPRING are more focused in certain teams than others. Looking forward, SPRING wants to see how the entire organisation's data analytics culture can be leveled up.

To do that, a more inclusive training is required. It would mean getting everyone in the organisation to think about how the data can help them in their day-to-day work. They would also need to figure out how they can incorporate more data into their workflow or processes, and to be more comfortable with data-driven decisions.

"The intent is to make it easier for employees," according to Wong. "We hope to start employees off with using visual tools, because it is usually an easier entry point. This is so that at least when they see that they can visualise their data, they would realise, 'oh, it can actually help my work in the following ways.' However, as with any mindset and behavioural change, I think those would take a while."

When asked about digital talents, Wong said, "Currently, much of the technology team is actually hired under the Government Technology Agency (GovTech). The advantage of this is it gives the people a broader range of career choices, since their progression is not confined to within the organisation." In this setup, if someone performs well, he or she can actually progress to other agencies that GovTech supports.

Another initiative related to strengthening the competencies of our people  to build a community of digital talent from  different functional roles. For example, there is a practice group in which the technical teams doing analytics across different government agencies come together regularly. They would share about the tools that they are using, the private sector partners they are working with, and how they are applying analytics in their own agencies. This is so that there is a sharing of best practices and knowhow, Wong said.

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