[CODATA-international] ‘Data democratisation’ by Dr Neeta Verma – video available online!

Asha CODATA asha at codata.org
Fri Jul 23 11:15:38 EDT 2021

 <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1lijUUWJa7g>What is ‘data
democratisation’, what benefits does it bring, and what are the challenges
on the road to data democracy?  On 20 June 2021, Dr Neeta Verma, the
Director-General of the National Informatics Centre of India, set out her
vision for the democratisation of data.

Dr Verma specified that by the democratisation of data, she means both
improved *access* to, and *understanding* of, research and government data
resources.  Dr Verma provided a compelling version of the enormous scale of
data being generated in the Indian context and its potential for research,
enterprise and social good.  She noted the current multiple impediments and
barriers to data democratisation in India today: data resources commonly
lie in silos, often in different IT systems, where they may have
inconsistency in formats, definitions, and schemas.  There is a need for
seamless access by individuals via accessible platforms to bring together
these resources for analysis.

Data democratisation also means removal of barriers to understanding data
resources. Metadata description is important to promote description and
help avoid misinterpretation.  Further, Dr Verma argued, everyone ought to
develop at least basic data analytics skills, to improve the accurate use
and reuse of data in government, business and research.

Practical steps that can be taken to progress along the road to data
democratisation were explained, including the role of policies for data
sharing and access, and how they should encourage sharing by dealing
clearly with privacy, ethics and security measures where necessary. As a
powerful example of progress, Dr Verma also described the Indian national
open government data portal, https://data.gov.in/, which has been developed
to stimulate simple access for citizens to a large range of data resources,
whilst giving providers – including government – the ability to stipulate
access and use conditions.

Our speaker concluded by reminding the audience that if we start opening
our own data, that can become a big game changer, and when open data is
supported through policy, governance and easy access to analytics, data can
help us by being leveraged for social good, helping enterprises and the
country to grow and meet its sustainable development goals.

If you missed the live event, a video of the talk is available at

This talk was presented by the Pune Knowledge Cluster, the Indian National
Science Academy and the CODATA India National Committee




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