Presented By O'Reilly and Cloudera
Make Data Work
31 May–1 June 2016: Training
1 June–3 June 2016: Conference
London, UK

Denmark is data driven

Mads Hjorth (Danish Agency for Digitisation)
12:05–12:45 Thursday, 2/06/2016
Law, ethics, governance
Location: Capital Suite 17 Level: Non-technical
Tags: government
Average rating: ****.
(4.00, 4 ratings)

Since the seventies, Denmark has put data at the center of public administration and services to its citizens and businesses. The result is one of the most data-rich administrations in the world—a vast landscape of digital self-services, base registers, geographic information, and even biobanks.
Mads Hjorth showcases some of the building blocks supporting Denmark’s ongoing transformation toward a digitized society and demonstrates how it is moving to expand the motivation from efficiency and control to include individualized services and the empowerment of citizens and businesses. These services include:

  • Doing your taxes in five minutes flat, on your phone (prefilled tax forms)
  • Receiving your mail, digitally and securely (nationwide secure email to citizens and business)
  • Accessing your medical information and deciding who gets to see it (shared medical records)
  • Setting up a company in a single process (one-stop business registration) 
  • Building a business upon open data from the public administration (open access to base registers)
  • Conducting a genomic study based on existing data and biological material (health records, registers, and a biobank)

Mads explains why Denmark’s e-goverment strategy from 2016 to 2020 calls for increased reuse of data, more automated decisions, and a closer collaboration between the public and private sector. In other words, it tries to making data easier to use and harder to misuse at the same time. But Denmark will have to find cost-effective, transparent, and robust ways to address recurrent dilemmas and new problems. Mads issues a call for cross-border collaboration to build and implement projects that can guarantee that sensitive information is not misused when multiple registers are sharing the same identifier, explain the algorithms used in automated process the general public, and visualize the national information landscape (i.e., how many models are interlinked).

Photo of Mads Hjorth

Mads Hjorth

Danish Agency for Digitisation

Mads Hjorth is a datalogist working within the central public administration in Denmark. For the last decade, he has contributed to the national digitization project as an IT architect, data architect, programmer, teacher, and end user of public IT systems. Lately, Mads has been involved in the formulation of e-government strategies and frameworks on both the national and European levels.