Delving into Data at the 2022 Graduate Forum

Thursday, 30 June 2022

Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet

The 2022 Graduate Data Forum, hosted by the Graduate Data Network and Institute of Public Administration Australia brought together over 1000 professionals from across the APS. The theme of this year’s event was ‘Delving into Data’ and showcased best practices in data use, enabling participants to discuss complex data problems and network with APS colleagues.

In the opening address, Heshan Inamaluwa, the Graduate Data Forum project lead shared his thoughts on the forum: 
‘Through our data initiatives such as this forum, we aim to drive better policy, program and service delivery outcomes across the APS for the benefit of all Australians.’

Discussions about the best use of data were facilitated throughout the day in panels, keynote addresses and masterclasses. The panel discussions featured topics including data insights beyond the APS, government data in policymaking and best data practices in the digital age.

The day focused on practical examples of best-practice data and enabled participants to learn about data communication, meeting user needs and collaborating across silos. The future of data was also a key part of discussions in building a future-ready APS.

Data experts shared their key learnings and prompted healthy discussion amongst participants about data capability. Dr Gordon de Brouwer PSM, Secretary for Public Sector Reform, highlighted the importance of building data capability across the APS:

‘As we have come to know, data literacy, analysis and storytelling using the power of data are key skills, whether we have “data” in our role title or not. The building of capability across the public service is paramount to continuing to meet the needs and expectations of communities…’

Graduates are drivers for change in the APS, bringing new and fresh perspectives to the organisation. Zeke Coady, 2021 Co-Chair of the Graduate Data Network captured this in his closing address:

‘Grads and other people new to the public service are one of its most important resources for future leadership and creating change in the organisation. [The] Graduate Data Network is a way for graduates to get engaged with each other and the broader APS. To uplift APS data capability and work with SES to push these changes through and make them a reality.’

The Graduate Data Forum is held annually, with the aim of providing an opportunity for early professionals to build data literacy and network with like-minded professionals.
For more information on the event, visit the Institute of Public Administration Australia website.

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