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Steven Hulse

Chief Executive Officer of Space Time Research Pty Ltd(STR). Based in Melbourne, Australia, STR specializes in helping governments and businesses around the world unlock value by making it easy to explore, analyze and visualize data.Prior to joining STR, Steven worked extensively in the Business Intelligence and Analytics space, with roles at Oracle, IBM and SingTel.

Can you give us a brief overview of your business?


STR has 30 years’ experience developing software tools and solutions for many of the world’s leading statistical organizations, government agencies and commercial enterprises. We change the way people explore, build and share information, making the process simple, secure and rich in meaningful insights.
Our SuperSTAR suite of tools is designed to enable users with no coding or programming expertise to explore data, create visualizations, and effortlessly share their insights. We also provide a suite of confidentiality options, including data perturbation, to ensure that private or identifying information is protected without compromising on accurate results or introducing bias. Our survey support makes it possible to research, understand and share results, whether specific business research or huge census data volumes.

Could you please share to us on where and how do they utilize your data?

Our clients are predominately in the government space. For example, the Australian Bureau of Statistics has been a customer for over 30 years and uses our web dissemination platform to share Census and other data with the people of Australia. Other customers in Australia cover industries such as health, tourism, and education. In addition to our strong presence in Australia, we also have a number of customers across Europe and worked on the most recentUS Census. The UK’s Department for Work and Pensions, for example, uses our tools for analysis and sharing of employment, social security and benefits data.

Can you please tell us how does the Australian government try to keep the balance of risk-benefit?

Our customers are acutely aware of the challenges of publishing data securely. With the trend towards Open Data, government agencies in Australia and around the world are increasingly recognizing the value of their data, and the tremendous potential benefits that come from opening access to that data.
At Space-Time Research, we believe that those benefits can only be realized if the data is truly open. That means it must be:

  • Flexible enough to allow users to ask their own questions
    ⇒Not just static reports or aggregations
  • Accessible to everyone ⇒Not just the specialists
  • Released in a way that protects the privacy of the individuals in the data
    ⇒Completely eliminate risk

That’s why we have developed an innovative and sophisticated confidentiality algorithm, known as perturbation. Perturbation enables organizations to release their data at a high level of detail while ensuring that there is no risk of identifying individuals in that dataset.

As the innovator in this industry, are there any changes from your observation surrounding these data?

With the rise of the Open Data movement over the last few years, citizens have come to expect a greater level of access and engagement with their governments than ever before, which is only driving demand for products like STR’s SuperWEB2. The days of governments releasing static Excel files are over. Users of Open Data now expect to be able to interact with that data through the web or through an API, and to be able to easily share their insights via social media. It is not enough just to look at the data. Only when it is analyzed, shared and utilized does the true value of the data emerge. By providing an intuitive interface, offering flexible access that allows people to ask any question, we believe we can empower citizens like never before to explore, build, and visualize government data and share their insights.We are working hard to build new features that serve the demands of this increasingly engaged user base.

Do you have any ideas of the Japanese Market from the insight of managing data?

It is already common in Australia, Europe and the United States to promote “open data” policies. It helps make administrative and municipal services more transparent, and stimulates private companies and organizations to innovate and create new services. Even in Japan, recent endeavors have promoted the utilization of data in both the public and private sectors. For example, “DATA.GO.JP” has offered free access to government data. Use of Open Data is sure to increase following changes to personal information protection laws that were introduced in May this year.
At the same time, many people are concerned about such privacy and security implications of the Open Data movement.
That’s why we are excited to bring our solutions to the Japanese market. We believe our data exploration and dissemination platform has tremendous potential to deliver added value for government agencies and Open Data users in Japan by enabling the release of more government data than ever before, both safely and securely that Japanese users will most concern, and providing flexible access that allows people to ask any question. 
EN / JP

Space-Time Research specializes in tools for analyzing, visualizing, disseminating data and making it easy for you to unlock the value in your data. Whether that means finding insights that help you make better business decisions and drive efficiencies, or enabling you to share and monetize the data you are already collecting. 
Visit Space-Time Research to learn more

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