Every year, an initiative called Data Week is organized - a gathering of European research and innovation communities dealing with Big Data topics, data-based products and services, and related research. The Data Week initiative was organized by the European associations Big Data Value Association and EUHubs4Data, and Algebra University College was also part of the initiative.
During Data Week, events are organized at several locations in the European Union, where stakeholders from academia, public and private sectors exchange knowledge and experiences, and discuss new challenges and recommendations. As a Croatian member of EUHubs4Data and a proud holder of the i-Silver certificate BDVA, Algebra University College organized a panel discussion on the topic of challenges in the field of data exchange.
Data exchange is one of the main preconditions for successful digitalization of public administration, but also for the development of innovative digital products and services. At the same time, data exchange is a painful process, which often carries the burden of insufficient information of stakeholders, unstructured processes in institutions that collect data, but also high security risks.
What are the real and what are the misunderstood risks in the data exchange process? What is Croatia’s status today in the process of creating the so-called national data treasuries? What are all the possibilities which could arise once the institutional data exchange is well-regulated? What do experiences with data exchange within the public sector and between the public and private sectors (in both directions) look like in Croatia and abroad? These topics were discussed by the participants of the panel discussion “Data Sharing & Data Caring”, which was held on May 25, 2022 at the Algebra University College.
The panel discussion was moderated by Leo Mršić, PhD, Vice Dean for Research and Development and Head of the Department of Data Analysis at University College. The participants of the panel who contributed to the opening of the public debate on the importance of sharing, using and protecting data, thanks to their knowledge and experience, were:
- Ivana Vukov, Special Adviser of Croatian Prime Minister for the Promotion of Public Policies
- Nikola Modrušan, Head of the Sector for Digital Infrastructure Development, Central State Office for Digital Society Development
- Mario Mrljić, CTO and co-founder at Neos ltd
- Anamarija Mlinarić, Senior Manager Consulting, Deloitte Croatia ltd
- Siniša Košćina, Chief business development officer, IN2 Group
- Josip Kustić, Director of Customer Success, Poslovna inteligencija ltd.
During the discussion, panel participants concluded that Croatia has already done a lot on interoperability and unification of the so-called state data, because currently there are more than 300 state registers in the state registry that have been merged. It was also pointed out that the challenges in the future will be to connect these registers, exchange them as well as to create an intelligent, predictive services for managing this data. The speakers agreed that B2G and G2B initiatives in Croatia should be engaged for these challenges, because locally Croatia has a significant number of highly educated, experienced and recognized experts and talents.
Finally, it was pointed out that it is necessary to turn to the education: both education of the civil servants – in order for them to be able to recognize the value of data services (in the form of great savings and new added value of services they are able to provide), as well as in education of the wide audience (education would foster the popularization of digital services and lead to a significant increase in the number of qualified users).