65% of Indian Public Sector Data Leaders Prioritize Governance in Evolving Landscape

In the evolving landscape of the Indian public sector, a significant shift is taking place as Chief Data Officers (CDOs) prioritize governance, security, and compliance over innovation in data analytics. Qlik, a data analytics company, conducted an independent study that sheds light on this transformation.
The findings of the study reveal that 65% of Indian Chief Data Officers strongly emphasize defining a data strategy. This prioritization reflects a cautious approach, driven by the rapidly evolving regulatory landscape. Data executives across key Asia Pacific markets, including India, Australia, and Singapore, are reporting through security, risk, or compliance channels instead of the traditional technology organizational lead. This change is being driven by a shift in reporting structures, with 58% of data executives now aligned with these security-related channels.
The “Driving Data in the APAC Public Sector: Balancing Governance and Innovation” report emphasizes that governance has become pivotal in shaping data strategy. Interestingly, many public sector organizations invest more resources in governance than innovation capabilities. This trend suggests that data is often perceived as a “risk to be managed” rather than an “opportunity to be exploited.” Within this context, most CDOs (71%) affirm their possession of data governance capabilities, 65% confirm their data management capabilities, and 58% indicate having data analytics capabilities.
Looking ahead, data leaders’ priorities for the next year lean more towards strategizing, maturity assessments, inventories, and governance boards, rather than innovation-focused initiatives such as deploying analytics tools or publishing open datasets. In the Indian context, the top three data goals for the coming year are defining a data strategy (65%), installing a governance board (55%), and creating an enterprise data architecture (55%).
The study also highlights the growing focus on compliance practices. Over 90% of organizations reported having governance frameworks in place by 2023. Among these, Indian organizations are steadily progressing, with 63% in the process of maturing their frameworks, 35% considering their frameworks mature, and 2% yet to adopt any data governance practices.
While organizations are increasingly appreciating the roles and responsibilities of CDOs, the study reveals that this appreciation doesn’t necessarily extend across entire organizations. While over 90% of businesses have well-defined data strategies, a majority of respondents (54%) feel that these strategies are poorly understood within their organizations.
The research, commissioned by Qlik and conducted independently by Omdia, surveyed 326 senior data executives within the public sectors of Australia, India, and Singapore. It highlights the evolving role of CDOs and the changing business strategies within government organizations.
The study research suggests a significant shift in the responsibilities and priorities of Chief Data Officers in the Indian public sector. While governance, security, and compliance take center stage, there’s a need for CDOs to bridge the gap between risk management and data-driven innovation, ultimately maximizing the value of data across their organizations.
Photo by Lukas Blazek on Unsplash
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