I Have to Ask: Data Equity Fundamentals – What is Rational?!?
In this series, guest columnists reflect on one of three prompts provided by ELGL Co-Founder Kent Wyatt. This week, Eric Trevan, PhD, founder of aLocal Solutions and member of the faculty for The Evergreen State College Public Administration (MPA) Program, writes about data equity.
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We are reminded that knowledge is a powerful tool and when we are able to access the right knowledge, we are able to make better decisions. The public trusts public employees to make the best decision in the public’s best interest! Data equity is based on a foundation of knowledge and when we are able to have equitable distribution, affordability and accessibility of information, we truly change the way decisions are made. Look no further to the recent stock market (not the market) activity…this week! As noted in many news articles, “amateur” investors using an information sharing platform determined that they would “participate” in investing activity to significantly increase stock prices. This resulted in gains exceeding for a few stocks 600%-1,000%! The news also pointed out that hedge funds potentially had large loses and their actions were based on “irrational behavior” and stock market fundamentals were disrupted…hmmmmmm. It seems that investors, governments and other businesses like to hold on to traditional approaches while the world, information and strategy has evolved every day!
We are bombarded with data, numbers, visuals and other forms of stacking and counting. How many times do we review stacked numbers and then make intuitive decisions that may or may not work? Additionally, when we review information, what does it mean? It’s amazing that when certain individuals or groups access economic data, they are viewed as the experts; when the general public is able to leverage data analytics, it may be “irrational behavior.” This not only needs to change; the public will force governments to change toward a data equity model and there are great new companies, leaders, researchers and approaches, meeting the demand.
Governments are making adjustments with data driven decisions on a daily basis, with limited budgets, and in the face of a pandemic. Many times, data sources are only stacking data sets…yup, adding numbers (I did this in kindergarten) …and many times experts are charging a premium to access said data. Progressive platforms are now moving towards broader data analytics, econometric analytics and equitable algorithms (not just outdated location quotients). Data equity is moving toward knowledge analytics that are affordable, accessible for everyone and available almost immediately, not in 2-3 months.
Facing forward, this is a great opportunity for our governments, organizations and advocacy efforts to make sure that data is analyzed, not summarized, cost effective/affordable and accessible. This may be “irrational” by some, but the current evolution of governmental informatics disrupts the fundamental norms and presents an equitable future for data equity!