What should ChiefDataScientist.gov.my do?

Just 5 months ago the notion of a “Chief Data Scientist of Malaysia” was introduced by then MDeC head Badlisham Ghazali, though the expectation was that the appointment would not be made for some time (no sooner than 2016, was the realistic suggestion). Turns out that was pessimistic; the appointment is going to drop way sooner than expected. As in, pretty much right now.

When talk of the role first emerged, I pondered what may be expected of such an appointment. I sketched out a 7 point scope for the role. With the news today, I decided to review those initial thoughts.

Having looked at it again, I still stand by it. In summary, here’s what I believe the Chief Data Scientist of Malaysia should be responsible for:

  1. Data cataloging and de-silo-ing of existing government data assets.
  2. Up-skilling (training the existing civil service and aligning national curriculum).
  3. Seamless access channels (for internal government consumption).
  4. Open data (for public consumption).
  5. Data privacy policy reviews, especially with regards to public-private partnership.
  6. Private sector management (e.g. align MDeC and friends).
  7. Strategic data projects – i.e. identify and actually deliver high-value cross-ministry data science projects.

A lot to do, but a lot to play for, and a lot of good can be done if the job is done right.

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