Last year, we moved beyond the “big data” buzz and actually started to do something with it, as more and more data moved into the hands of users who don’t have a traditional background in data science.
These users, known as information activists, wanted to go beyond merely consuming data and instead truly engage with it, using that data to spread new knowledge. Rather than relying on the experts, they sought out self-service business intelligence (BI) solutions, so they could make their own discoveries and craft engaging stories to inspire confident, data-driven decisions.
But, with the sheer amount of data constantly streaming in, information activists couldn’t keep up with all the prep and analysis required to transform raw data into real insights. Which brings us to the dawn of a new era.
The Personal Data Protection Commission (PDPC) of Singapore and Mexico’s National Institute for Transparency, Access to Information and Personal Data Protection (INAI) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), highlighting the growing significance of international cooperation in the digital age. This marks a significant milestone as the first such collaboration between Singapore and a Latin American country’s data protection authority.
The collaboration acknowledged that data governance and the seamless flow of information across borders are imperative for fostering global trade in the digital economy. Recognising personal data protection as a shared concern, the MoU aims to build trust and facilitate secure cross-border data flows between the two nations.
Commissioner of PDPC, Lew Chuen Hong, and Commissioner Josefina Román Vergara of INAI Mexico formally sealed this partnership, signifying a commitment to navigating the complexities of the digital age together.
The collaboration’s focal points include the development of compatible data transfer mechanisms that will serve as the foundation for trusted cross-border data flows. Technological innovation also takes centre stage, with both authorities pledging to cooperate in fostering advancements that enable these secure data exchanges.
Beyond this, the MoU sets the stage for an exchange of information, sharing best practices, and collaborative research on emerging privacy and data protection issues and trends.
Commissioner Josefina Román Vergara of Mexico’s INAI perceived this collaboration as a pivotal stride toward a future where nations work hand in hand to confront the challenges of the digital era. “By focusing on the development of compatible data transfer mechanisms, technological innovation, and information exchange, through this MoU we are not only shaping our digital futures, but also setting a standard for global cooperation,” she remarked.
Singapore’s PDPC shares a similar sentiment, expressing its commitment to facilitating responsible cross-border data flows. The MoU with Mexico’s INAI is viewed as a significant leap forward in bridging the fragmented global landscape for personal data protection. Commissioner Lew Chuen Hong emphasised the importance of the collaboration, stating, “We look forward very much to working closely with Mexico on this.”
The scope of the MoU extends beyond the technical aspects of data transfer and innovation. It encompasses the continued sharing of experiences and the exchange of best practices on data protection.
Both countries commit to providing mutual assistance in cross-border personal data incidents that contravene their respective data protection legislations. This not only reflects a commitment to data security but also establishes a framework for cooperation in addressing challenges that may arise in the enforcement of data protection laws.
As the digital landscape evolves, Singapore’s PDPC remains dedicated to actively collaborating and strengthening global cooperation on personal data protection. The renewal of the MoU with Australia’s Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) at the 60th Asia Pacific Privacy Authorities (APPA) Forum in Sydney underscores Singapore’s commitment to fostering international partnerships in safeguarding personal data.
These collaborative efforts by Singapore’s PDPC with Mexico’s INAI and Australia’s OAIC highlight the shared recognition of the global nature of personal data protection. In an era where information knows no borders, such collaborations set the stage for standardised practices, innovation, and mutual support in addressing the challenges posed by the digital age.
Digital collaboration, according to PDPC, is critical for modern organisations seeking to thrive in a dynamic and interconnected world. It not only improves efficiency and productivity, but it also allows for global connectivity, fosters innovation, and promotes flexible work arrangements, all of which contribute to the success and competitiveness of businesses and teams.
China has achieved a significant milestone in the advancement of its computing infrastructure with the official release of the national standard GB/T 43331-2023, titled “Internet Data Centre (IDC) Technology and Classification Requirements.” This strategic move underscores a steadfast commitment to propelling the robust development of the computing industry within the country.
Spearheaded by the China Academy of Information and Communications Technology (CAICT), in collaboration with various enterprises and institutions, this achievement signifies a dedication to aligning with the evolving needs of the national computing infrastructure and ensuring the high-quality evolution of the computing industry.
The comprehensive scope of GB/T 43331-2023 spans six dynamic aspects, mirroring the complexity of the digital landscape it seeks to regulate. These aspects include greenness, availability, security, service capabilities, computing power, and computing efficiency, with an added emphasis on low-carbon practices.
At its core, this national standard is designed to serve as a guiding framework for the planning, design, construction, operation, and maintenance of Internet Data Centres (IDCs). The creators envision a future where GB/T 43331-2023 acts as a catalyst, propelling diverse industries forward by facilitating a more profound integration of computing infrastructure.
The roots of this groundbreaking standard extend back to 2013 when the data centre team of the Institute of Cloud Computing and Big Data at the CAICT embarked on a mission to standardise the communication industry.
Over the years, several data centre rating standards have emerged, each contributing as a stepping stone towards the ultimate realisation of GB/T 43331-2023. This national standard has now come to fruition after years of collaboration with users, designers, and industry suppliers.
According to CAICT, the standard places a strong emphasis on energy efficiency, a longstanding concern in the development of data centres. No longer a vague aspiration, GB/T 43331-2023 outlines specific requirements aimed at elevating the energy efficiency levels of data centres through the application of green technology and adept operation and maintenance system management.
Beyond technology, the standard underscores a commitment to responsible and sustainable practices. It addresses service capabilities through a comprehensive evaluation of external services in data centres. This assessment isn’t a mere formality; it objectively gauges capabilities, fostering self-improvement within data centres and aiding customers in selecting facilities suitable for their business needs.
The newly released standard also focuses on availability, enhancing data centre resilience through improved equipment redundancy. This ensures data protection during emergencies, fortifying the foundational architecture of the digital world. Security, a paramount concern in the data-centric era, receives meticulous attention. Beyond conventional measures like firewalls and passwords, the standard aims to ensure the safety of both data centre equipment and personnel, adopting a holistic approach to fortify the guardians of the digital realms.
The CAICT added that the GB/T 43331-2023 is not merely a set of regulations; it is a guidebook signalling a future where computing infrastructure seamlessly integrates into daily life. It represents a collaborative effort among academia, industry, and innovation, shaping a digital landscape that is not only efficient but also sustainable, secure, and prepared for future challenges.
By establishing common guidelines, protocols, and specifications, these standards ensure that hardware and software components from different vendors can seamlessly communicate and function as part of an integrated system. This not only simplifies integration processes but also fosters a more open and competitive market.
Faculty, students, and alumni from the Indian Institute of Technology Madras (IIT-Madras) have collaborated to create a mobile application to facilitate more convenient and efficient intra-city transportation of goods.
Named OptRoute, the mobile app connects drivers and consumers without charging commissions or onboarding fees. The consumer’s payment is directly transferred to the driver, eliminating the need for intermediaries.
The initial version of the app has been developed and commercialised by a startup incubated at IIT-Madras. It was co-founded by Professor N.S. Narayanaswamy, Department of Computer Science and Engineering, IIT-Madras, and Anuj Fulia, an IIT-Madras alumnus. Furthermore, the startup has developed methods for efficient packing and optimal utilisation of vehicle space, to be integrated into the application upon reaching a sufficient initial traction level.
The OptRoute application operates in two modes: Driver and Customer. In Customer mode, users can submit transport requests for various goods requiring a vehicle. In Driver mode, users can view available requests and choose to accept them.
As per a statement from IIT-Madras, key distinctions between OptRoute and existing services include:
- Zero-commission per transaction and nominal subscription-based service model
- Direct payment from the consumer to the driver
- High scalability of the software system and operational aspects
- A single app for both drivers and customers
OptRoute operates independently without relying on third-party services, enabling the startup to minimise operational costs and offer services with a zero percent commission. IIT-Madras alumni and students contributed significantly to the design and development of the application.
According to Narayanaswamy, OptRoute ultimately aims to solve connectivity issues between drivers and customers in the goods logistics and transport domain. Current challenges include the unavailability of return loads for transporters and the underutilisation of vehicle capacity. He characterised the existing market in this sector as being highly disorganised, which leads to inefficiencies.
The OptRoute app is operational on Android devices and available in the cities of Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Chandigarh, Chennai, Coimbatore, Delhi, Faridabad, Gurugram, Hyderabad, Indore, Jaipur, Kolkata, Lucknow, Mumbai, Nagpur, Noida, Panchkula, Pune, Mohali, Surat, and Zirakpur. The startup has plans to expand its service to over 500 cities by the end of this year.
“[OptRoute] is also ripe for the deployment of technology-based solutions to reach the goals set by the National Logistics Policy, 2022,” Narayanaswamy said. The National Logistics Policy aims to enhance economic growth and business competitiveness through an integrated, seamless, efficient, reliable, green, sustainable, and cost-effective logistics network. It intends to harness technology and skilled manpower to reduce logistics costs and improve performance.
The policy aims to increase the nation’s Logistics Performance Index ranking to be among the top 25 countries by 2030. It also aims to create a data-driven decision-support mechanism for an efficient logistics ecosystem. To achieve these goals, the government initiated the Comprehensive Logistics Action Plan (CLAP). It covers eight action areas including:
- Integrated digital logistics systems
- The standardisation of physical assets and benchmarking of service quality standards
- Developing human resources and capacity in the logistics sector
- Promoting state engagement
- The Services Improvement Framework
- Sectoral Plans for Efficient Logistics (SPEL)
- Facilitating the development of logistics parks
Since its launch, there have been notable advancements in the policy’s implementation through regional conferences, individual consultations, and inter-ministerial meetings.
A collaboration between agricultural research entities, Curtin University’s Centre for Crop and Disease Management (CCDM), and the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development in Western Australia is poised to change farming practices through the development of a decision support tool known as the ‘Agri-analytics Hub.’ With a budget of AU$ 4 million, this technological initiative aims to significantly enhance farmers’ profitability and optimize risk management by employing a scientifically rigorous approach.
In the realm of precision agriculture, where data-driven insights play a pivotal role, the Agri-analytics Hub is slated to address a critical gap. While current practices enable producers to generate maps for precision agriculture using their farm data, the existing methods lack scientific robustness. Furthermore, there is a noticeable absence of tools designed for creating or analysing on-farm trials, leaving agronomists and skilled growers without a dedicated solution for this crucial aspect of their work.
The aim of the project lies in the ambition to empower farmers and their advisors with a state-of-the-art tool that can analyse the variability in crop performance and profitability at an in-paddock scale. Dr Julia Easton, the project leader and researcher at the Centre for Crop and Disease Management (CCDM) at Curtin University, stressed the significance of the Agri-analytics Hub.
Drawing on next-generation agribusiness research developed by the Curtin for Agribusiness Profitability Initiative, this tool is envisioned to give growers the confidence to make informed decisions supported by scientific analysis.
For farmers contemplating management changes – such as altering fertilisation rates or adjusting inputs to enhance profitability and sustainability – the Agri-analytics Hub aims to be a game-changer. Dr Easton highlighted that the tool ensures such decisions are grounded in science, offering a robust foundation for agricultural practices. This becomes particularly crucial in an era where sustainability is gaining prominence, and farmers are increasingly under pressure to demonstrate evidence of environmentally conscious and efficient practices.
The Director of CCDM explained the collective capabilities that this tool brings to the agricultural landscape. Farmers will now have the ability to visualise, analyse, and experiment with their own data and equipment, thereby driving profitability and managing risks effectively, even in the face of a variable climate.
The Agri-analytics Hub is designed to analyse existing data and facilitate on-farm experimentation, allowing farmers to test solutions and estimate the likely economic impact of adopting specific practices based on their own production systems.
This initiative represents a significant leap forward in agricultural data analytics, with CCDM taking the lead in advancing the way farming is approached. By empowering farmers with tools to leverage their own data and equipment, the project aims to usher in a new era of evidence-based decision-making in agriculture.
The CEO of one of the industry partners noted the importance of evidence-based decision-making, especially in proving sustainability credentials. The global demand for food and fibre produced in a sustainable manner has been on the rise, necessitating producers to provide tangible evidence of their commitment to sustainability. The significance of a scientifically rigorous digital tool that is not only cost-effective but also designed in collaboration with Australian farm businesses and their advisors was underscored.
Such a tool, when seamlessly integrated into existing systems and processes, holds the promise of being a substantial step in the right direction, with implications reaching far beyond Western Australia. It is anticipated that the Agri-analytics Hub will have significant national relevance when delivered, contributing to the ongoing global discourse on sustainable and efficient agricultural practices.
The Agri-analytics Hub project in Western Australia stands as a beacon of technological advancement in agriculture, promising to equip farmers and advisors with a powerful decision support tool. The amalgamation of scientific rigour, precision agriculture, and on-farm experimentation positions this initiative at the forefront of modernizing farming practices.
As the demand for sustainable and evidence-based agriculture grows, the Agri-analytics Hub represents a crucial step forward in meeting these evolving expectations and contributing to the broader landscape of agricultural innovation.
The government has granted its approval, Resolution No. 175/NQ-CP dated 30 October, for the National Data Centre project, aiming to elevate Vietnam’s standing in global e-government, information technology, and cybersecurity rankings. It wants the centre to serve as a tool to resolve and remove bottlenecks while fostering the development of current national databases and any prospective database systems in the future.
The government will construct, manage, use, and run the National Data Centre. The centre will integrate, synchronise, store, share, analyse, exploit, and coordinate data from various state agencies in compliance with legal regulations. It will establish two data warehouses, one focusing on people and the other gathering data from national databases.
The data housed at this centre will form the core of data-related service delivery. It will contribute to policymaking, aid in development, and promote digital government, society, and economy. It will also enhance defence and security measures.
The centre will provide information technology infrastructure for socio-political organisations, national databases, and agencies with data requirements. It will leverage the collected and synchronised data to simplify and streamline administrative processes, improve the services provided by state agencies to citizens and businesses, and carry out in-depth analyses to help the government issue and manage social security policies. This includes policies for insurance, healthcare, and education.
Some of the data stored at the centre will include details on populations, insurance, healthcare, social security, education, and training, as well as staff data, including civil servants, public employees, identification records, civil status, and financial transactions. It will also store activity from the databases of ministries, government branches, and localities.
The centre will function as a hub to connect with international partners to exchange information, collaborate on research, and jointly create development strategies, particularly in the field of science and technology.
The centre is slated to be operational in 2030. It will aid in Vietnam’s deeper integration into the global digital economy. Apart from storing and connecting data from national databases and domestic information systems, it will contain data from governments across the world to support various activities in cyberspace while safeguarding Vietnam’s interests.
It is anticipated that by 2023, more than 90% of administrative activities involving the sharing of information between state agencies will be replaced by sharing digital data from the centre’s warehouses.
The government wants Vietnam to achieve several significant rankings by 2030, aiming to be among the top 50 countries in the E-Government Development Index (EGDI), the top 30 in the ICT Development Index (ID), and the top 30 in the Global Cybersecurity Index (GCI).
The country is recognising the significance of data infrastructure due to its data growth rate, which exceeds the global average.
Earlier this month, the Vietnam Posts and Telecommunications Group (VNPT) launched its largest data centre, VNPT IDC Hoa Lac, in Hanoi. As reported by OpenGov Asia, the centre spans 23,000 square metres and is designed to house 2,000 racks. With equipment from G7 manufacturers, it offers speeds up to 2Gbps per rack for domestic connections and 0.5Gbps per rack for international connections.
It is equipped with an N+1 backup system, which promises stable operation, even during maintenance events. Furthermore, its Data Hall features a 6-layer security monitoring system, adhering to international standards, and guaranteeing the highest level of data safety for clients.
The state-run Vietnam Posts and Telecommunications Group (VNPT) has inaugurated VNPT IDC Hoa Lac, its largest data centre at Hoa Lac High-Tech Park in Hanoi. The centre spans 23,000 square metres and is designed to house 2,000 racks. Using state-of-the-art equipment from renowned G7 manufacturers, it can provide impressive speeds, offering 2Gbps per rack for domestic connections and 0.5Gbps per rack for international connections.
VNPT IDC Hoa Lac is equipped with an N+1 backup system, guaranteeing stable operation, even during maintenance events. Additionally, its Data Hall features a 6-layer security monitoring system, adhering to international standards and ensuring the highest level of data safety for clients.
The centre has achieved Uptime Tier III Certification for Design Documents (TCDD) and the Constructed Facility (TCCF) and is also on track to obtaining the Certification of Operational Sustainability (TCOS) in the future.
VNPT currently runs eight data centres across the country, including in Hanoi, Da Nang, and Ho Chi Minh City. Each of these centres complies with rigorous domestic and international standards. “Our data centre in Hoa Lac is the largest and most advanced in the country and is poised to offer the nation’s premier data services, tailor-made to meet the diverse requirements of both domestic and international clients,” said Huynh Quang Liem, CEO of VNPT.
The human resources employed at this facility are highly trained professionals with extensive experience in the field. They offer round-the-clock customer support and stand ready to assist clients with package upgrades whenever necessary.
During the inauguration ceremony, the Minister of Information and Communications (MIC), Nguyen Manh Hung, emphasised the ministry’s focus on advancing Vietnam’s digital infrastructure. He underscored the importance of data infrastructure and urged telecom carriers to invest in this domain to create further opportunities for development.
Vietnam is experiencing a data growth rate that surpasses the global average. Presently, the country hosts 39 data centres, and to meet the increasing demands of the community, it needs to establish approximately 5 new centres annually, akin to VNPT IDC Hoa Lac.
Hung noted, “Digital infrastructure must be super-capacious, ultra-wideband, universally accessible, sustainable, smart, open, and secure. It’s essential to prioritise investment in modernisation to stay ahead in the digital transformation race. Data infrastructure is the cornerstone of digital infrastructure.”
Telecommunications companies that were formerly at the forefront of telecommunications infrastructure must now take the lead in data infrastructure. Investing in data centres presents a fresh growth opportunity for these operators. Without such investments, they face the risk of being replaced by others in the evolving digital landscape, he said.
Hung encouraged local businesses to prioritise Vietnamese cloud computing and data services, particularly given that domestic providers have met the most stringent global standards and are able to offer competitive pricing. For more cost-efficient and secure services, ministries, state agencies, and local authorities should choose professional data service units over trying to run their own ineffective data centres or IT systems. He also highlighted that this presents an opportunity for domestic data service providers to further their growth and professional development.
According to MIC, VNPT’s strategic move indicates a well-defined vision for bolstering the country’s telecommunications capabilities and marks a transition from conventional telecom services to more advanced data and digital services.
The OpenGov Breakfast Insight held on 25 October 2023 at the Hard Rock Hotel, the first of a double-header day for OpenGov Asia, kicked off with a dynamic and insightful discussion that underscored the transformative potential of data in the education sector.
Singapore’s education system is at the forefront of digital innovation, with a focus on using technology and data-driven approaches to transform learning and teaching, while also emphasising the importance of data management and security in educational institutions.
In Singapore’s ongoing commitment to achieving educational excellence, the importance of reliable data management has become increasingly critical, underscoring the fact that data serves as the lifeblood of educational institutions in the digital age.
High-quality data serves as the foundation for informed decision-making and insightful analysis, essential for educational institutions to effectively fulfil their mission of delivering exceptional education, thereby underscoring the importance of accurate, reliable and up-to-date data.
To empower educators and administrators with essential insights, data should be readily accessible to authorised users, thereby laying the foundational step for informed decision-making and optimised learning experiences.
In this context, data governance stands as the bedrock for preserving data quality by implementing stringent processes that ensure data consistency and integrity, addressing not only quality concerns but also meeting the rigorous standards of audits and compliance mandates.
Integrity, confidentiality, and security must be protected at all costs when dealing with data. To ensure the preservation of crucial information, institutions must not only secure their data but also be vigilant about backup, replication, and archival procedures.
A unified approach to data usage enhances operational intelligence, streamlines decision-making processes, and creates a trusted data source throughout the institution. Simultaneously, ensuring data integrity, confidentiality, and security is not only vital for the institution’s seamless operation but also a mandatory compliance measure in today’s digital landscape.
Moreover, ensuring uniformity in the utilisation of decision-making data across various departments is of utmost importance, as untapped data that remains unanalysed or inconsistently accessed can impede an institution’s operational intelligence – a crucial element for making informed, strategic decisions.
As data-driven solutions continue to play a central role in education, all members of the organisation must be proficient in data management best practices. Essentially, an institution’s proficiency in data management is contingent on the expertise and competencies of its faculty and staff.
By embracing cutting-edge technologies that harness the power of data, educational institutions can unleash the potential for highly personalised learning experiences through the seamless integration of data analytics, artificial intelligence (AI) and other innovative solutions.
The OpenGov Breakfast Insight held on 25 October 2023 at the Hard Rock Hotel focused on the dissemination of invaluable insights concerning digital integration, cybersecurity, cloud computing, and data governance, uniquely tailored to the Singapore education sector.
In the rapidly expanding landscape of digital education, Mohit Sagar, CEO and Editor-in-Chief of OpenGov Asia, acknowledges the growing focus on humanising data management, aiming to enhance learning experiences through the incorporation of empathy, ethics, and efficiency in data systems.
This approach revolves around two core pillars: improving data accessibility and availability while maintaining data integrity and confidentiality. By doing so, educational institutions can foster a culture of excellence, providing students with a more personalised and efficient educational journey.
Mohit stressed that one of the foundational principles in modern education data management is enhancing data availability and accessibility. This involves ensuring timely access for educators, administrators, and stakeholders.
“Easy access to data is fundamental in the decision-making process, allowing educators to make informed choices and deliver the best possible learning experiences,” Mohit believes. “Real-time insights into student performance and behaviour can lead to more effective interventions and support systems.”
In this context, robust data governance is a cornerstone of educational evolution, where data quality and authenticity hold paramount significance. Standardising data collection approaches and formats, instituting validation procedures, and improving data accuracy are integral measures for safeguarding data reliability in contemporary education.
Educators and administrators are encouraged to base their decisions on data, fostering a more informed and efficient approach to teaching and management, while fostering cross-departmental collaboration to gain a comprehensive perspective on the institution’s data.
High-quality data is indispensable for accurate reporting, effective decision-making, and meaningful analysis. Through the sharing and analysis of data, educators can gain comprehensive insights that enable more effective interventions and support for students, all while acknowledging the paramount importance of data security in safeguarding data integrity and confidentiality.
Data management has assumed a central role as a crucial element in enhancing learning experiences and decision-making, with educational institutions now adopting regular security audits, comprehensive data backup and recovery strategies, as well as disaster recovery protocols to ensure the security and integrity of educational data. These measures are specifically designed to protect valuable information from unforeseen challenges, spanning from system failures to cybersecurity threats.
Maintaining transparency in breach response is of utmost importance, allowing educational institutions to address potential security incidents openly, rebuild trust among stakeholders, and take preventive measures to strengthen their data defences.
Mohit observes that leveraging cutting-edge data-driven technologies has become a game-changer in education. Tools such as artificial intelligence (AI) for data validation, machine learning (ML) for valuable insights, and predictive analytics for anticipating student performance are revolutionising the teaching and learning experience. They empower educators to make data-informed decisions, personalise learning, and optimise resource allocation for improved educational outcomes.
Transparent data governance, interoperability solutions, and shared data standards are instrumental in fostering trust and seamless integration across educational institutions, allowing for the free flow of insights and innovations.
“In an increasingly digital, data-centric world, education cannot afford to fall behind,” Mohit concludes. “Therefore, it is crucial to drive rapid innovation through data and cultivate an agile mindset among educators and stakeholders.”
Keith Sng, Senior Manager, Systems Engineering SEAK at Veeam acknowledges that rapid technological advances and continuous efforts to develop the education sector have made Singapore one of the countries that prioritise education.
Singapore is known globally for its superior education system, which places special emphasis on developing individual knowledge and skills. In addition, Singapore also hosts various international seminars, conferences and educational events that promote global collaboration in support of learning and research.
In terms of technological advancement, as per Keith, Singapore has emerged as a prominent hub for innovation and technology within Southeast Asia. On the education front, both the government and educational establishments in Singapore have proactively incorporated technology into their educational programs, encompassing the utilisation of advanced educational software, digital libraries, and online learning platforms.
“Singapore’s commitment to education is reflected in its continuous efforts to improve the quality of education and ensure that its citizens have equitable access to learning opportunities,” observes Keith.
Nonetheless, Keith underscored that while significant infrastructure developments are unfolding in Singapore’s education sector, equal attention must be directed towards safeguarding the data of educators, staff, and students. “Data constitutes the foundation of everything in today’s world; let’s not jeopardise this valuable resource due to negligence in ensuring its proper and judicious protection.”
Keith pointed out that two universities, namely Parol University in India and Keio University in Japan, have already begun to recognise the significance of data protection. These institutions serve as exemplars in embracing data protection measures that can serve as guiding models for educational establishments worldwide.
He explains, “Their commitment to establishing a secure and safeguarded educational environment is a valuable attitude that should be collectively embraced.”
Veeam provides support to both universities in their efforts to protect their data. Collaboration with Veeam allows both universities to implement sophisticated and reliable data protection solutions. With the help of Veeam, their data becomes safer and protected from potential risks and security threats.
This successful collaboration illustrates how the application of technology in education can provide real benefits. When educational institutions prioritise the security and sustainability of their data, they create an environment that supports educators and students in achieving their academic goals.
Keith believes that the current rapid technological developments have advanced the world of education but also brought new risks related to data security and integrity. Therefore, the steps taken within the framework of this cooperation are very relevant and useful. When educational data is well maintained, not only students feel the benefits, but also educators and administrative staff can work more efficiently.
“In an era where data-driven technologies increasingly dominate, education leaders around the world need to consider investing in data protection and the latest technology,” Keith concludes. “The more educational institutions take proactive steps in protecting their data, the safer and more productive their learning environments will become.”
May Lit Mei Wan, serving as the Senior Associate Director for Learning Systems and Technologies at Singapore Management University (SMU), one of Singapore’s universities that has harnessed data within its academic institutions, underscored the intricacies involved in efficiently handling this data. She emphasised the necessity for a meticulous equilibrium between accessibility and security to address the manifold challenges it poses.
“In an era where technology increasingly influences the world of education, data is a key element that shapes the way we learn and teach,” she explains. “With the right data, educators can identify individual needs, measure progress, and create more personalised learning experiences. Apart from that, students can also see their progress and use it as a basis for improvement.”
However, managing education data is not a simple task. It requires strong infrastructure, wise policies, and reliable data protection. As data becomes more abundant and diverse, the challenges become more complex.
SMU has begun efforts to explore every angle of educational data management, from understanding basic concepts to practical applications. By collaborating with experts and practitioners in this field, SMU is aiming to outline the best strategies, innovations and solutions that can bridge the gap between the ease of access and data protection.
“Through a deeper understanding of how data can shape the future of education, we hope to provide useful insights and inspiration for educators, administrators, and anyone who cares about improving education,” May explains.
SMU is eager to delve into cutting-edge technological advancements that can propel educational data management to new heights. She shares specific instances of how data has been effectively utilised by SMU in various real-world scenarios, exemplifying the practical applications of data in diverse contexts.
For example, in measuring class engagement, SMU has integrated data from various sources, including online learning platforms and interactive systems in the classroom. This makes it possible to monitor student participation levels, engagement in discussions, and responses to learning materials. This data provides valuable insight for assessing teaching effectiveness and identifying areas where improvement is needed.
May believes that data is an essential device for measuring student results in online exams. This data tracks individual grades, class averages, and long-term trends. By gaining deeper insights into student performance in online exams, educators can adapt their teaching techniques and curriculum to bolster student achievement.
Besides, the data has helped in identifying suspicious behaviour that may be detrimental to the integrity of the exam. This includes monitoring response patterns, unusual turnaround times, and potential unethical actions. This data helps in taking precautions and maintaining honesty in the exam process.
Likewise, measuring student effort in take-home assignments is another area where data plays a key role. By monitoring the time students spend completing assignments, the level of complexity of the work completed, and the results achieved, it is possible to measure student effort in assignments outside of class. This data helps in providing better feedback to students and motivates them to improve their performance.
“All of these initiatives are concrete examples of how effective data management can support quality education and better decision-making,” May reiterates. “By utilising this data, we have a strong foundation to continuously improve the educational experience and provide maximum benefits for students.”
In his concluding statements, Keith emphasised the remarkable advancements in the education sector, stressing the crucial role of the intersection between technology, data management, and education in shaping the sector’s future.
“As we reflect on the insights shared during the OpenGov Asia event, it’s evident that the transformation of education through data humanisation is well underway,” says Keith. “The convergence of data, education, and technology is reshaping learning experiences and outcomes, setting the stage for a brighter future in the education sector.”
Keith underscored the significance of data security and governance, noting that transparency in breach response, defining data ownership and accountability, and accurate data capture during collection are indispensable elements of data security in education.
The incorporation of data-driven technologies was a central theme throughout the event. By leveraging artificial intelligence (AI) for data validation, machine learning (ML) for valuable insights, and predictive analytics for student performance anticipation, the education sector is on the cusp of a major technological revolution.
Keith reiterated the vital aspects of data accessibility and availability, placing importance on user-friendly dashboards, mobile accessibility, and real-time interventions. He highlighted that transparency in data governance, interoperability solutions, and shared data standards serve as the foundational pillars for fostering trust and enabling seamless integration within educational institutions.
To drive rapid innovation in education, the need for fostering an agile mindset among educators and stakeholders, in today’s world, is non-negotiable. Encouraging experimentation and continuous improvement, as well as promoting data collaboration by standardising data formats, are catalysts for shared development in the sector.
Summarising the session’s discussion, Mohit concurs that data security and governance are of utmost importance in education. He emphasises the necessity of routine security audits, robust data backup and recovery strategies, and disaster recovery protocols. He underlines the significance of transparency in addressing breaches, defining data ownership, and maintaining the accuracy of data collection as essential elements in safeguarding the integrity and confidentiality of educational data.
“The integration of data-driven technologies in education was a standout theme,” observes Mohit. “The transformative potential of AI/ML and predictive analytics is evident, promising to revolutionise teaching methods and enhance learning experiences.”
The importance of data accessibility and availability was at the forefront, with a focus on user-friendly dashboards, mobile access, and real-time interventions. Transparent data governance, interoperability solutions, and shared data standards were acknowledged as essential pillars for fostering trust and facilitating seamless integration within educational institutions.
Fostering an agile mindset among educators and stakeholders was presented as a gateway to rapid innovation in education. Encouraging experimentation, continuous improvement, and promoting data collaboration through standardised data formats emerged as vital strategies for driving collective growth in the education sector.
“This event has renewed the passion for humanising data, propelling us closer to a future brimming with limitless learning possibilities,” Mohit concludes. “The world of education data management is set for remarkable transformations, and insights from this event serve as a beacon on the path forward.”