The UAE ranked 16th globally out of 187 countries in the Open Data Inventory, ODIN, Report 2020, with an overall score of 75.

The UAE’s agenda to adopt open data policy as part of the digital transformation is a clear indication to boost transparency and this is evident with a release of latest Open Data Inventory (Odin), Report 2020.

The report has ranked the UAE 16th globally out of 187 countries, with an overall score of 75. Compiled by Open Data Watch, the 5th Odin assesses the coverage and openness of official statistics to identify gaps, promote open data policies, improve access, and encourage dialogue between national statistical offices (NSOs) and data users. The UAE jumped 51 positions from 2018, outperforming the US, South Korea, Switzerland, France, Spain, Japan and the United Kingdom.

Omar bin Sultan Al Olama, UAE Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence, Digital Economy and Teleworking Applications, said: “Government open data publishing aims to promote the concept of transparency in government action, which is among the top priorities of the UAE’s leadership. Open data also helps increase the efficiency of resource usage, supporting decision-making, exploring development opportunities, and paving the way for the launch of successful projects in the field of artificial intelligence to serve communities.”

According to the report, the UAE took a dual approach of making more data available and improving elements of data openness. In 2020, the Federal Competitiveness and Statistics Centre launched the Open Data Race, a competition among statistics-producing government agencies to see who could publish more open data through their Bayanet data portal. Publishing data through the portal also resulted in 100 per cent of Odin indicators being made available in machine-readable format and made it easier to standardize the metadata that was made available for each dataset, doubling their metadata availability score.

Hamad Obaid Al Mansouri, director-general of the Telecommunications Regulation Authority (TRA), said: “The over-achievement of the UAE in the Odin Report is a global recognition to be added to the country’s list of achievements, most notably in information technology and coinciding with the Gitex Technology Week in Dubai.” The Odin report says the top performing 30 countries in Odin have mostly remained the same since 2016, but that’s starting to change. Twenty-three countries have appeared in the top 30 every year since 2016.

Data is new oil

Ali Hyder, Group CEO of Focus Softnet, said: “Data is the lifeline of any business and in the current digital economy, it has become even more valuable. Data, today, is more mobile than it ever was. Businesses no longer need to wait for data to be fetched in the form of reports but thanks to ERPs that come with integrated artificial intelligence features, data is now available on their fingertips in real time. Businesses are now able to turn these data insights into something strategic. Predictive analytical data is increasingly becoming part of ERP reporting to help managers in procuring and producing efficiently thus increasing sales revenues.”

Organizations effectively use data to achieve breakthroughs every day. For example, pharma companies have been able to come up with a COVID-19 vaccine in record time due to pre-existing data from earlier research and their ability to apply that data to the current pandemic. Data is a crucial factor in evaluating the efficiency and determining the success of the vaccine. To cite another medical use case, oncology researchers have been able to predict the likelihood of a person developing cancer using Artificial Intelligence. AI is able to derive such useful predictions because of analyzing large volumes of genetic data and by looking for identical patterns. These examples show how data has become so important in recent times and will continue to be for a long time to come.

Rakesh Jayaprakash, product manager, ManageEngine, said: “Today, the success of a business is determined by their ability to understand their target market and audience in the best way possible. A business or an idea cannot get off the ground unless a thorough study is conducted to understand its impact and more importantly, the monetary benefit i.e, the potential market share it can capture. Both these require organizations to not only possess large volumes of data but rather the ability to understand and utilize it in the right manner.”

Source: Khaleej Times

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