Data is the new oil in the age of technology - if the world's next wealth is data, how do we benefit from it?

Aug 7, 2022

2:00 - 2:30 pm


Many government institutions depend on programs to collect and manage data such as Excel and Access,” said Muhammed Essa, founder of the Programming for Iraq, in his presentation on “Data is the new oil.”


As part of the activities of the first day of the Point Conference Iraq, which was held in the Station building hall on Saturday, July 22, 2022.


Muhammad mentioned that the data has several effects, including (society, companies, training, jobs, etc.). There are those who collecting data about you in order to provide you a service.


It is possible for the community, to encourage the citizens to use data. For example, there are several interactive sites that use data to provide services to the community. As for companies, the data helps companies know the desires of the community before implementing a business, and this is very important for companies and start-up projects. While for training, there are specialized platforms for training and education also, by using data in the future, universities may disappear.


Concerning jobs, there are job platforms that collect data about the participants in the platform and provide them with the appropriate job.


He pointed out that the digital transformation means data storage, processing, evaluation and use it again, not as some government institutions say, that raising paper transactions to the computer is a digital transformation.


Muhammad indicated in his presentation, that during his master’s studies he worked on a project to collect data from energy institutions in Turkey, and by using the data provided by these institutions, from the distribution of electrical loads and the daily consumption of the citizen, he was able to guess that a problem might happen in the future for these institutions, so these institutions can solve problems before it happens.


He also mentioned one of the important influences that made by data, is that data affects governments as well including: openness and transparency to the citizens by publishing the information they collect.


Muhammad explained that the data provides us with many needs, including how to know the effects of climate change on our planet. By referring to sites that use machine learning algorithms and artificial intelligence, NASA was able to determine who is the main influence on rising temperatures, which is greenhouse gases.


In the foregoing, Muhammad explained that everything we mentioned previously is considered positive side to the data, but there is a negative side to the data, there are many international companies that use your private data for commercial purposes or to develop programs and applications as well.


Once you are online, you are under observation , and companies collect data from you,” Mohammed says, and there are many examples that determine the identities of people through the use of data. An American professor was able to identify 87% of American citizens using only three factors, namely: (Postal Codes, Birth, Gender).


"The Programming for Iraq "  is the first initiative specialized  in programming and the use of information technology in Iraq." Muhammad mentions that this initiative was established in 2017 and many people from the Iraqi governorates joined it, and it is also the first initiative that connects Iraqis from Zakho to Al-Faw.


As a conclusion to his presentation, he added that data is a double-edged sword that can benefit you or hurt you, and Iraqi institutions must develop themselves in information technology and how to deal with it and protect it as well.