How organisations are combating the misuse of data

By John Hoffman, CEO of Altis

Trust in data and analytics is currently at an all-time low as the widespread lack of transparency and misuse of data by large tech firms worldwide has heightened anxiety surrounding the use of data collection and data mining.

The revelations of Cambridge Analytica and Facebook having harvested the personal data of millions without consent has led many to question whether data just plays a negative role rather than realising it does also have the potential to be a force for good.

Big data and the ongoing sophistication of data and analytic tools increases opportunities and gives companies a choice: some organisations choose to use data inappropriately to increase their bottom line. When data is misused, it not only creates ethical issues with consumers, but also often has wider consequences on our environment and society.

However, there are individuals and organisations from both New Zealand and Australia, who are using data to construct innovative solutions that make a positive impact on society. Some of these include:

  • Take My Hands, an organisation that collects usable medical equipment that can no longer be used in NZ and redistributes it to organisations in need in the Asia Pacific Region, uses data platforms for guidance so they’re able to increase the number of people they can help.
  • ProCare uses data and machine learning to improve GP referrals and stop unnecessary specialist visits, as well as predicting the risks and decreasing the rate of hospitalisations.
  • St John Ambulance has built an effective Business Intelligence platform, focusing on best practises to provide actionable data insights. This has resulted in positive impacts on community health.
  • Auckland University of Technology uses data to understand and assist students in their university journey while identifying potential risk points.
  • Melissa Baer works with Food/Agri Tech to encourage sustainable business models by helping farmers understand how data can assist with monitoring and growing a variety of crops as well as the benefits of sharing information with their consumers.
  • Dr Reza Jarral researches and promotes the latest trends in technology for healthcare, including voice based automated diagnosis, while maintaining a strong focus on digital ethics.
  • Tania Brown and her Smartcity team at the University of Wollongong research and act on a fascinating array of infrastructure projects to help assist cities in planning for the future. One of their projects, which has been acknowledged as the best practice of crowdsourced information in an emergency situation, used Twitter as a platform to save lives and expedite solutions during major flooding.
  • Hiria Te Rangi, Kaiwhakahaere, Whare Hauora, drives the use within communities of IOT devices to monitor health risks in the home. Her mission, passion and dedication combined with an interest in technology, put her in a key position to educate on risks.
  • Thankyou is an FMCG (Fast Moving Consumer Goods) company whose profits go entirely to reducing poverty. Their “Track your impact” initiative means that consumers can directly connect with the projects that their purchases are funding.

All of these case studies will be featured at the Data4Good Conference in Auckland, which will showcase how leading organisations are leveraging data to positively impact the world.

Insightful strategies and best practices

While organisations are already capturing large amounts of data, for this data to be of value it must be managed and turned into knowledge. The Data4Good conference will share how organisations can draw valuable insights in order to make sense of their data, and with this understanding make decisions and drive change.

Industry leaders from across health, NFP, agriculture, education, and much more will share strategies and best practices of data use.

Data as a force for good

Hosted by Altis Consulting, the conference will challenge these perceptions through championing the data for good movement. Set to be an inspirational and unmissable day, Data4Good puts the spotlight on tangible insights and creative approaches from speakers who are using data for positive change in not only their industries, but more broadly on society.

Event Details:

Date: Thursday, 14th November 2019

Location: The Maritime Museum, Princes Wharf

Time: 9am – 5pm

Price (tickets must be purchased in advance):

  • Corporate: $250 + gst
  • Not for Profit: $150 + gst
  • Student: $50 + gst



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