In a report commissioned by Google, PwC said Australian business could have seized this “data-dividend” with rates of data-driven innovation equitable to economically and demographically similar countries such as Canada.
The Deciding with data report estimates that data-driven innovation contributed $67 billion to Australia’s economy in 2013, or 4.4 percent of GDP; equivalent to the size of the retail sector.
Every industry is using data to grow - from predicting weather patterns and optimising harvesting in agriculture, to improving patient diagnosis and treatment in the health industry, to enhancing the management of remote infrastructure in mining.
PwC’s Managing Partner for Strategy & Transformation, Sammy Kumar, said data-driven innovation could be the key to boosting Australia’s productivity.
“As growth in export revenue from the resources boom slows, Australia will need to achieve higher productivity in sectors like health, financial services and agriculture in order to maintain and improve our living standards,” Mr Kumar said.
“Data-driven innovation is already contributing as much to GDP as the entire retail industry, but it will need to do more, and rapidly, if Australia is to overcome its looming productivity challenge.”
The mining, financial services and manufacturing industries extracted a combined value of $20.3 billion from data-driven innovation in 2013, according to PwC. However, according to the firm’s new Data Innovation Index, it is the health industry that stands to benefit most in the future based on its size, international competitiveness, and assets including technical skill, talent, and volume of data.
Alan Noble, Engineering Director at Google Australia, said it will be Australian consumers who are the biggest winners from data-driven innovation.
“Businesses in every industry sector can make the most of this opportunity to create new products or improve the ones they already have,” Mr Noble said.
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