Saudi launches National Data Index
Saudi to use maturity index to aid development of data-driven government
#SaudiArabia #digitaltransformation - The Saudi Data and Artificial Intelligence Authority (SDAIA) and the National Transformation Program (NTP) today launched the country's first National Data Index, or Nudei. Launched at the Saudi Data Forum in Riyadh, the index was introduced alongside the newest version of the Open Data Platform, as well as the Kingdom's first Data Governance Platform to an audience of government ministers, other senior officials and public sector leaders. The government aims to use the index to help promote transparency, create a national data-based economy, and contribute to the assessment of data maturity in government entities.
SO WHAT? - The launch of the National Data Index is a key milestone in the government's data transformation journey. Led by SDAIA, the past five years have seen the government make intensive efforts to plan, organise and transform, the way that data is acquired, stored, managed and used, across all government departments.
The National Data Index is the result of the collaboration between SDAIA and NTP.
The new National Data Index will allow the government to benchmark performance, helping organisations more effectively measure their data processes, data management practices, and their ability to provide high-quality data to support government planning, policy development, and decision-making.
The index also provides a dynamic, results-based indicator for follow-up and evaluation, allowing SDAIA to better assess and track the progress of government agencies in data management, and compliance and operational indicators.
The index covers 14 areas of data management through three key components: a data management maturity measurement questionnaire, measurement of compliance with national data management controls and specifications, and measurement of operational indicators.
The index will also promote a culture of data management through training programs for government employees, and help carry out awareness campaigns for beneficiary groups.
Meanwhile, the new version of the Open Data Platform contains over 7,000 open data sets, 190 publishers, and 35 use cases. SDAIA expects the platform to contribute to building the Kingdom's digital economy.
Among other things, the Data Governance Platform - building on data governance regulations that the National Data Management Office began introducing in 2020 - will register entities covered by the Personal Data Protection Law.
ZOOM OUT - Data transformation has played a critical role in Saudi Arabia's digital transformation and digital initiatives, and is, in fact, core to the realisation of its Vision 2030 goals. Data is vital for the Vision 2030 strategy's goals of digital infrastructure: smart governance: and informed policy making.
By overhauling data processes, practices and management, the Kingdom has been able to digitize more than 6,000 public services. Meanwhile, the government has overseen a massive build-out of data centres, and the creation of the region's biggest government data cloud.
Unlike many countries, where government digital transformation struggles to keep up with the private sector, Saudi Arabia's government has led the charge. Data transformation has been a core focus over the past five years, as Saudi government departments compete with one another to leverage vast volumes of data with artificial intelligence and become data-driven. The effort has, no doubt, inspired the private sector to follow suit.
IMO - To say that Saudi Arabia has had significant digital transformation challenges to deal with, would be an understatement. Faced with a huge volume of fragmented data, stored across many different architectures, including legacy systems, building the right foundations for government data was a key step. On the other hand, the increasing rate that data was being generated and acquired, required ambitious plans to prepare for the future. In the process, the government identified a need for billions of dollars worth of data centre investment, not to mention a fast-growing need for the right talent. Enormous progress has been made - and with the introduction of the National Data Index, this will now be measured methodically to underpin future development.
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