Just in time: how real time data can improve government delivery

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November 28, 2023
Data & ID

Data is everywhere in government, as departments collect large amounts of information from many different sources across both public and private sectors.

Much of this information could be used to improve public services if it was made available to policymakers. But this insight can be lost if it takes too long to analyse the information and unlock the intelligence as data can go out of date quickly in a fast changing and uncertain world.

Using real time data can therefore ensure policymakers make decisions based on understanding the situation as it is, not as it was, and this Mastercard webinar will look at how governments can make the most of this insight.

The session looked at how data can be collated from public and private sector sources to improve both decision-making and the delivery of public services.

Join this webinar to find out how governments can unlock real-time insights in unprecedented times. It covered:

  • How government policies can be developed to make the most of up-to-date data.
  • Lessons from how real time data is used in government.
  • How the public sector can collect data from both public and private sectors to maximise insight.


Neil McIvor, Director, Chief Data Officer and Chief Statistician, Department for Education, United Kingdom

Neil McIvor became the Chief Data Officer and Chief Statistician at the Department for Education in October 2017. Neil started his career in the Civil Service in 2001, becoming a professionally accredited statistician in 2003 following achieving a first class honours degree in Mathematics with the Open University. Neil joined the Department for Work and Pensions in 2004, where his first role was to build a billion record pseudonymised individual level database, linking benefit and employment spells for all UK adults that had been on welfare benefits at some point since 1998. This Work and Pensions Longitudinal Study became the backbone for social analysis of welfare and employment throughout the 2000’s and 2010’s. Neil also spent some time as lead analyst on disability employment issues, before becoming policy lead for specialist disability employment, and disability benefits.

In 2012, Neil returned to his statistical roots, to become the Department for Work and Pensions Deputy Head of Profession for Statistics, and became DWP’s temporary Chief Data Officer in 2016, moving briefly to the Office for National Statistics to run Business Data Operations, and Student Migration statistics, before moving to his current role, where Neil has responsibility for the departments enterprise wide data and information strategy, governance, control, policy development, and effective automated data collections and data sharing. Neil also runs the Department’s Data Protection Office and Knowledge and Information Management teams.

The role combines accountability and responsibility for information protection and privacy, information governance, data quality and data life cycle management, along with the exploitation of data assets to create insight.

Neil was voted the 7th most influential data leader in the UK DATAIQ 2020 and one of the UK’s top 10 data leaders in 2022.

Elise Legendre, Chief Data Officer & Director General, Data Policy and Transformation, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

Élise was appointed Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s (AAFC) Chief Data Officer in the summer of 2021.  She leads a small, passionate team of policy and IT professionals dedicated to harnessing and unleashing the power of data to improve service delivery and to support the sector’s sustainable growth.

In 2003, after having worked in strategic marketing in the private sector for nearly 12 years, her career with the federal public service began as a Commerce Officer with AAFC.  She has since held positions in several branches, including Strategic Policy, Corporate Management and Programs.  She is passionate about the role of government and the impact it can have to improve the quality of life for Canadians. 

Élise holds a Master’s in Business Administration from Simon Fraser University (Vancouver, BC) and a bachelor’s degree in Arts, major in Political Sciences from Laval University (Sainte Foy, QC). 

Martha Norrick, Chief Analytics Officer, City of New York

Martha Norrick is the Chief Analytics Officer for New York City and is the head of the Office of Data Analytics (ODA). The ODA works with City agencies, OTI staff, and their data to serve New Yorkers more equitably and efficiently. They support citywide programs, conduct analytics projects to improve City operations, and advance citywide data analytics, infrastructure, integration, and sharing. Our office includes the NYC Open Data team, which implements the City’s Open Data Law, strives to improve the accessibility of public datasets, and advocates for the use of open data in the community.

Stephen Keefe, Vice President, Business Development – North America (NAM), Mastercard

Stephen Keefe is a Vice President of Business Development at Mastercard where he is responsible for U.S. Cities & Urban Transit.  Stephen works with Government and Nonprofit entities to accelerate Financial Inclusion, Sustainable and Inclusive Growth, and strengthen Program Impact Evaluation efforts. Recent initiatives include working with the NYC Office of Technology and Innovation to measure and evaluate specific policies while providing visibility to near-term economic trends across the city. Prior to joining Mastercard, Stephen worked for Booz Allen Hamilton as a Strategy & Operations consultant where he supported a wide range of government clients and initiatives.

Webinar chair: Siobhan Benita, Facilitator, Global Government Forum

Siobhan Benita was a senior civil servant with over 15 years’ Whitehall experience. She worked in many of the major delivery departments, including Transport, Environment, Health and Local Government. She also had senior roles at the heart of Government in the Cabinet Office and HM Treasury, including supporting the then Cabinet Secretary, Lord O’Donnell to lead work on Civil Service reform and strategy. Siobhan left the Civil Service to run as an independent candidate in the Mayor of London election. She subsequently joined her alma mater, Warwick University as Chief Strategy Officer of Warwick in London and Co-Director of the Warwick Policy Lab.