Computer-Supported Policy Analysis and the Future of the Profession

I’ve mentioned elsewhere that I am involved in organizing a symposium and publication project reflecting on the career of my long-time supervisor and mentor Dr. Rod Dobell.

I had originally meant to stay in the shadows, but I will now be presenting an original paper with the super-long title of “From Massive Mainframes to Massive Data, Databanks to #OpenData, ‘As We May Think’ to Thinking Machines: Computer-Supported Policy Analysis and the Future of Practice.” This will be delivered at the symposium on August 20 2011.

The draft paper is a high-level survey of the application of computer technology in support of the policy analysis function in western governments over the post-World War II period, and points to possible future implications for practicing policy analysts arising from continuing technological developments and as the consequence of three emerging phenomena: the massive data era, the open data movement (something I’ve written on recently) and anticipated advances in artificial intelligence.

It is a very rough working draft, but the basic ideas have been set out. If you’re interested, it can be found here. Comments are really appreciated.

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