Transcript: Lord Mayor Sally Capp opens the 2018 Analytics Conference

19/07/2018
Read the full address of Melbourne’s Lord Mayor Sally Capp to the second annual Melbourne Business Analytics Conference on Thursday July 19, 2018.
 
Good morning everyone.  

On behalf of the City of Melbourne, I respectfully acknowledge the Traditional Owners of the land, the Boon Wurrung and Woiwurrung Wurundjeri peoples of the Kulin Nation and pay respect to their elders, past and present. 

I would also like to acknowledge Professor Ian Harper, Dean of Melbourne Business School and distinguished guests and speakers. 

Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to Melbourne and to a conference that promises to advance excellence in data and analytics. 

I’m very proud that Melbourne’s hosting an event that brings together speakers with recognised expertise as we all look forward to developing knowledge cities. 

Tech and data companies have transformed our cities worldwide. 

Amid such generational change, the impact of collecting and using data in our cities and our nations cannot be overestimated. 

In the many professional roles I’ve held, and in representing Victoria overseas, I’ve seen Melbourne grow and prosper as a global centre of excellence and a highly supportive environment for business and research.  

In 2018 our knowledge sector benefits from a diverse, highly-educated population. 

With this level of talent in our city, Melbourne has strong capabilities in financial services and ICT; higher education; biotechnology and life sciences; medical and scientific research; and design. 

The knowledge economy grows ever stronger. 

In 2016, 6,800 businesses and organisations in Melbourne’s knowledge sector provided nearly 300,000 jobs.  

The sector has a total output of $100 billion and contributes $59.4 billion to the City of Melbourne’s economy. 

What a local government authority can bring is well-informed support which encourages a spirit of inquiry.   

City of Melbourne recognises that data and business analytics are crucial in making evidence-based decisions. 

Our role is to use data to generate insights that help us transform our services and improve city infrastructure to meet the community’s needs and expectations. 

So, it is significant that our Open Data Platform has now become so valued. 

This platform allows the public to access and use a wide range of council data.  

Publishing this data increases transparency and also encourages social and economic initiatives. 

The City of Melbourne is also certified under the World Council on City Data, which reflects our strong commitment to collecting and using data to track Council’s progress and make evidence-based decisions. 

For close to 40 years we have collected valuable data about the city and its people in our Census of Land Use and Employment or CLUE. 

This is uniquely useful for local government and helps us plan for a rapidly growing population.  

This year we are investing in improving CLUE with the help of a Smart Cities and Suburbs grant from the Australian Government, to help expand this dataset to other local government areas. 

Also of note is our 3D Development Activity Model (or DAM). 

This provides a representation of major development activity in the Melbourne Local Government Area. 

3D modelling gives people a visual representation of all buildings in our city – whether existing, under construction, approved or under application. 

This is a huge advance for a local government authority. 

While we keep good records on what goes into a proposed development, it wasn’t until 3D DAM that we could give people a real sense of the physical reality of the building and how it might change the shape of our city. 

To take one example, we use these city analytics to shape policy development on student accommodation.  

Last year we used our data to show the number of sites still available for development in the City North area. 

Data from DAM and CLUE is also used effectively in our transport policy development – for example in analysing how many local residents would be affected by a restriction of cars along Elizabeth Street. 

To help understand and count pedestrian movements, the City of Melbourne has sensors positioned around the city constantly providing information.  

This pedestrian sensor data has provided invaluable insights into the use of our city – and has been used by Victoria Police in the threat assessment that cars potentially present in crowded pedestrian streets. 

We are now at a point where a large body of designers, planners, data scientists, students and others have access to a substantial collection of city data. 

Like many of you I expect, I am very optimistic about the ways in which data, insight and design can address a city’s most pressing challenges; 

And we can achieve much through collaboration. 

Last year, City of Melbourne became a very enthusiastic partner in the Melbourne Innovation District, teaming with University of Melbourne and RMIT University. 

We recognise the enormous potential in attracting talent to our city, retaining it, encouraging small business and entrepreneurs and supporting partnerships that commercialise IP. 

That’s why the City of Melbourne also has a key role in activating our data to design, develop and test new ways for us all to live, work and play. 

Each year Council hosts Melbourne Knowledge Week to showcase the people, ideas and technologies shaping our future. 

Its stimulating program sharpens the focus on what many in your field do best – inquire, research, exchange ideas, foster talent. 

In May, City of Melbourne also threw down the challenge to the best and brightest in an Open Innovation Competition. 

We asked competition entrants to focus on accessibility – to use data to develop tailored and scalable solutions to help people with disabilities better navigate and enjoy our city. 

With almost one in five people experiencing some form of disability, a large proportion of our community faces unnecessary obstacles to participating in city life. 

The resulting pitches were most exciting for our partners, which included technology companies and community sector organisations. 

The first prize was awarded to a proposal called Melba. 

Melba is a solution that pairs City of Melbourne's Open Data with smart assistants such as Siri, Google Assist and Amazon's Alexa to provide up-to-date city information through voice, text and screen readers. 

City safety is another area which benefits from sophisticated data collection, as communities around the world recognise. 

From CCTV cameras to intelligence gathering and much more, city and country leaders will have ever more advanced data and technologies at their disposal.  

I have no doubt many of you will have interesting views on the use of data – the phenomenal opportunities and also the potential for misuse. 

There is a powerful argument for data as a catalyst for economic and social development – and a promising path exists for data and analytics to shape decision-making. 

That’s why City of Melbourne is very pleased to support this pre-eminent data and analytics conference and the Datathon, as we did last year. 

Our city can be proud that the University of Melbourne’s Master of Business Analytics program is so highly ranked in the world. 

You all have much to give of your expertise and much to gain from your discussions.  

I wish you every success in the conference and hope you enjoy your stay in our city. 

The Melbourne Business Analytics Conference 2018 is being hosted at NAB in partnership with SAS, NAB, Zetaris, Rubix, Lexer and the City of Melbourne.  

Speakers include data experts from NYU Stern, Stanford University, UC Berkeley, Oxford University, Amazon, Google, Tennis Australia, Australia Post and more.  

Follow the conference live on Twitter through #MBSAnalytics.