The prevalence and importance of data is hard to underestimate. It is big in terms of business, the Saudi Data and Artificial Intelligence Authority (SDAIA) estimates the value of Saudi Arabia’s data and AI economy to be SAR15 to 20 billion. Demonstrating a commitment to investing in data management, the Saudi Ministry of communications and Information Technology (MCIT) launched an US$18 billion plan to build a network of data centers across the Kingdom in July 2021.
There is a vast opportunity for data analytics to be used to fuel the digital economy and to power Vision 2030. We know that our data has the potential to illuminate the answers to long-standing questions but without a data strategy in place, information can seem inaccessible, disorganized and even overwhelming. Good data management is thus the bedrock that will allow us to gain value and competitive advantage from data in the Kingdom and with new regulations from the National Data Management Office (NDMO), the regulatory arm of SDAIA, implemented, now is the time to act.
These new regulations will provide a structure and environment in which individual organizations can build robust data management strategies. However, regulations alone will not fulfill Vision 2030’s ambitious goals around data. It is up to individual organizations to develop their own data management practices — tailormade to the type and quality of their data — to drive business value.