New ways to use data: the Inclusive Data Charter
Until now, mainly private enterprises have been benefitting from the use of data integration. And those benefits have been fully related to the companies themselves, their success, development, costs, opportunities, revenue streams, risks, and other key factors.
And even though this is an essential and purposeful mean of using data, currently, we can see data in another use: as a tool for achieving sustainability goals. But not some random goals, but the United Nations ones (that are quite a big deal).
This way, the data is not being used solely for the success of one entity, but for the purpose of idealistically transforming the world that we live in, into a better place for life — all that through the Inclusive Data Charter.
What is the Inclusive Data Charter?
The Inclusive Data Charter is an initiative of the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development Data, governed by the United Nations, which was launched in 2018. Yet, it currently gains popularity in the technical and business fields, because it is based on partnering with companies from those industries.
This international project includes multinational entities, governments, and social organizations as collaborating stakeholders. Its purpose is to break down the barriers (such as financial and political), which trammel the improvement of data segregation.
And to achieve the UN sustainable development goals on a global scale, one specific type of data needs to be collected, processed, analyzed, and used for decision-making.
What data is needed?
According to the IDC official website, “Currently, too little data is routinely disaggregated.” Both because of various technical challenges and the managing barriers mentioned in the previous section.
And the Inclusive Data Charter aims to deepen the levels of data disaggregation because this specific resource is the key to ensure that no nations, social groups, or individuals, are excluded from the global development progress.
But what exactly is disaggregated data?
This is the type of data that is usually not effectively used when it comes to business development, as it is broken down into detailed topics and categories. In the case of IDC, these give information about the societal groups, gender, age, religion, race, education, and other focal factors for identification and societal marginalization.
Disaggregated data and Silos
From a certain point of view, disaggregated data reminds of the business entities’ worst enemies, data silos, because it represents distinct data (in omniformats) that are stored separately. Nonetheless, as the Inclusive Data Charter provides a joint platform for collaboration between countries and organizations, set criteria for collecting, storing, and processing exists, which ensures the quality of these data and guarantees its unbiased manipulation, safety, and purposefulness.
And contrary to the private companies that break down data silos (because they limit their corporate growth), the IDC creates controlled data silos, motivated by the need for detailed and narrow data sets.
In fact, in one of their ebooks, the OECD Digital Government Studies share that “Despite the long tradition of collecting, storing and managing structured data sets, most public sector organizations do not share the same understanding of data as an asset. By ensuring central leadership and data stewardship across leading agencies, the government can foster and increase efforts synergies and the implementation of coherent measures in line with central data governance and management guidelines.”
In other words, this study confirms that siloed data can indeed be efficiently used in the public sector and can even be considered as a key tool for the achievement of Global Sustainability goals.
Benefits of the disaggregated data
It turns out that these data are the essence of achieving sustainable goals progress:
- Provide a solid basis for understanding the baseline in terms of goal-setting and progress achievement.
- Identify gaps in the goal-setting process and facilitate the work to fill them.
- Help the countries to adequately and effectively track performance in terms of achieving the global objectives.
- Principles of the Inclusive Data Charter
But without establishing principles for the collection, usage, and implementation of disaggregated data, the IDC would risk compromising its goals and the security of the collected data. That is why there are 5 criteria set as guidelines:
- All populations must be included in order to achieve a 360-degree view over the baseline situation. As a result, all the members can contribute not only with new loads of data but also with new ideas for tackling global issues.
- All data should be disaggregated to accurately describe the populations and the conditions they live in.
- Extract data from all sources available to ensure and support the creation of a trustworthy database.
- The people/organizations responsible for collection and data analytics are responsible before the IDC.
- The disaggregation of data must be improved constantly, in terms of human and technical capacity for collection, analysis, and usage.
The inclusive data charter is an example of an entity that uses data straightforwardly to drive insights about the world and deepen people’s understanding of the current global issues and their potential resolutions.
All that, by using data in an innovative and unexpected way.