Data Saudi will be the unified platform for the Kingdom’s socioeconomic data

RIYADH: The Data Saudi platform, launched by the Ministry of Economy and Planning, will include comprehensive social and economic data as the Kingdom embarks on an economic diversification journey, said a representative of the Ministry of Economy and Planning.

In an interview with Arab News, Abdulaziz Azzouqa, adviser and head of digital transformation at the Ministry of Economy and Planning, said that the Data Saudi platform is a unified platform that consolidates socio-economic data from various official sources, and transforms the data to easy to understand stories, ultimately empowering decision makers to make informed decisions. 

“We are definitely covering and expanding on data across diverse economic sectors, and it is one of the critical objectives of Data Saudi. We are currently analyzing over 20 sectors based on the ISIC classification, and we are looking at over 30 dimensions across the sectors to really enable decision-makers to infer deeper insights into these sectors,” said Azzouqa. 

He added: “So, yes, this is definitely an objective. And in the coming months and upcoming releases, you will see much more detailed data across diverse economic sectors.” 

Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Economy and Planning launched the Data Saudi platform in September 2023 with the aim of creating a consolidated reference for Saudi socioeconomic data. 

He revealed that the Data Saudi platform which is available now is just the “tip of the iceberg,” as the ministry is planning to expand data coverage and roll out more features.

“We’re planning to expand the platform on multiple fronts, starting with expanding the national and regional indicators beyond what’s there already on the platform. We’re looking to incorporate bilateral indicators of over 200 countries,” he said.

Azzouqa added: “We’re looking to include further data and details on the diverse economic sectors. Also, one of the features we are really excited about is to enable users with additional visualization features, and essentially empower them to build additional visualizations on the platform. There’s much more to come, so stay tuned.” 

According to Azzouqa, the Data Saudi platform seeks to facilitate access to socioeconomic and sectoral data and enhance the transparency of information regarding the national economy in line with the goals outlined in Saudi Vision 2030.

“The objective of Data Saudi is to enable transparency when it comes to Saudi socioeconomic data. We want to cover the key sectors. In line with Vision 2030, we want to make sure that we cater to everyone; all the different types of decision-makers, whether they’re, business owners, investors, entrepreneurs or government officials,” he said. 

Azzouqa added that the Data Saudi platform will play a crucial role in materializing the goals outlined in Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030. 

“The aspirations of the Kingdom with Vision 2030 is to become a leading data-driven economy and to be among the top ten global ranking digital governments. One of the success factors in achieving these aspirations is open government, where open data is leveraged to enhance participation and to enhance transparency,” said Azzouqa. 

He added that one of the critical objectives of Vision 2030 is enhancing and assuring transparency, as Saudi Arabia is currently on a path of economic diversification. 

Azzouqa further noted that the Data Saudi platform may also consider including data from third-party sources including publications, but currently, the platform will be releasing data consolidated by the Ministry. 

He added that the Data Saudi platform has economic and social indicators of Saudi Arabia at the national and regional levels, which includes, indicators on the Kingdom’s gross domestic product, inflation, international trade, employment indicators, housing, population indicators etc. 

The official revealed that the Data Saudi platform is designed in such a manner that the information available will provide the user with historical data of the economic indicators which will help them compare the figures easily to make decisions. 

“So what you can essentially do with any indicator; you have the visualization where you can slice and dice the data or look at the data from different perspectives based on the available dimensions. So, for example, I can look at the GDP on a quarterly basis, or on an annual basis by a simple click of a button, and the chart transitions with a nice animation effect,” said Azzouqa. 

He added: “You can download the data in various formats, including Excel and JSON (Javascript). You can also browse underlying data online. We also have the link to the actual source of the data, so you know exactly where the data is coming from.” 

Azzouqa added that Data Saudi is built on a mix of robust open-source technologies and modern web technologies, which provide users with all types of visualizations including line charts, bar charts, hierarchies, maps etc. 

“The site is also responsive-designed, meaning that you can use and access the site through any device and with any screen size or aspect ratio that essentially adapts to that size and to deliver the optimal user experience,” he said. 

He added: “We’re definitely going to expand the datasets on a continuous basis. We have a pretty aggressive roadmap and we are going to definitely release these features in phases in the coming months. So we are continuing to explore features and data sets. It’s an ongoing journey and we’ll never stop.” 

Azzouqa went on and concluded that the current focus of the Ministry of Economy and Planning is to further develop Data Saudi which will contribute to the realization of Vision 2030’s main objective of enabling the growth and diversification of the economy.

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