Data Republic to provide NSW government with data marketplace

Sydney-based Data Republic will deliver the state government a platform to access a range of datasets in a single, searchable location.

Big data startup Data Republic has scored a contract from the New South Wales government that will see the Sydney-based firm deliver a data marketplace through its Senate platform.

According to the company, its Senate platform has been designed to uphold trust and security by meeting data privacy, data confidentiality, data security, and data governance needs, as it "regulates" how shared data is permitted for use on the platform.

It also enables the secure exchange of datasets between industries such as retail, banking, automotive, aviation, and insurance.

"Recognising the importance of shared data is a big step in the right direction for NSW as data moves to become the world's most valuable resource," Data Republic co-founder and CEO Paul McCarney said. "We hope this partnership will empower other governments and agencies to participate in similar data initiatives, facilitating better interoperability."

Data Republic launched its Open Data Marketplace in the second half of last year, described by CTO Ryan Peterson as a digital platform for organisations to exchange data sets under the governance of strict contractual arrangements.

"The reason we call this Data Republic is because we believe this is a movement -- you can get all of these people's data together and you start looking at solving some major socioeconomic issues and on top of that, being able to change businesses, we just really haven't scratched the surface yet," Peterson said, speaking at the 2016 Hadoop Summit in Melbourne.

The Open Data Marketplace is built on top of a legal framework that allows people to exchange data, with personal information stripped out. It allows data to move from party A to party B without ever touching the personal information.

According to the company, its Senate platform boasts over 100,000 employees from participating enterprises that can be covered under Data Republic's legal framework.

While open data can be accessed by anyone, and is made available for free by a number of governments, McCarney said shared data needs a secure, governed environment where use, analysis, and movement can be monitored and controlled by the organisation providing it.

"We can now envisage that ecosystem of governed data sharing growing even further with involvement from multiple governments, companies, and social good organisations," McCarney added.

"We are proud to have developed a framework and technology that has reduced the risks associated with sharing data so that partners like the NSW government can enhance services and innovation."

"The Data Republic Senate platform will provide access to a broad range of datasets in a single, searchable location whilst securely managing access to shared data," NSW government chief information and digital officer Damon Rees said, noting the data marketplace is core to the government's digital strategy.

In May, Minister for Finance, Services and Property Victor Dominello unveiled the state's Digital Government Strategy, touted as a bold vision for transformation across the NSW public sector.

The three-faceted strategy is focused on customer experience, the government being digital on the inside, and is brought together through the use of data.

Founded in 2014, Data Republic is funded by Westpac's investment arm Reinventure, NAB Ventures, Qantas Loyalty, and a handful of private individuals.

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