The Victorian government is inching closer to opening the doors of its own dedicated data analytics unit, making it the second jurisdiction in Australia to set up a central data authority.
The state Labor government first flagged its intention to establish the new function - which has taken cues from NSW’s Data Analytics Centre - in its May IT strategy.
The strategy committed the state to standing up a “data agency that will better use and share data and information to improve policy making and service design” by January 2017.
The Department of Premier and Cabinet - which will house the new unit - has begun hiring data advisers and engineers to “provide expert advice to support the establishment of centralised data integration and analytics capability”.
It is looking for new recruits with a background in data analytics, database management and some knowledge of how to work in SQL, R, Python, C and/or Java.
The “dynamic new team” within DPC has the working title of the Information and Data Reform branch.
A spokeswoman for the DPC declined to detail how many staff would be assigned to the new unit, or when it is due to formally begin operations.
“While the team grows and establishes, there will be many opportunities for people who want to use their expertise and skills to keep Victoria at the forefront of IT innovation," she said.
According to the IT strategy, Victoria’s data analytics outlook will be governed by a new, state-wide information management framework.
However, the state has not outlined any intention to follow in the legislative footsteps of NSW, which passed new laws that empower the Innovation Minister to demand datasets from agencies to support the work of the NSW Data Analytics Centre.
The DAC was unveiled in August 2015, touted as a world first. The subsequent 2016 state budget bankrolled its operations with $16.8 million across four years.