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Delivering Smarter Cities & Better Public Policy w/ Data

February 22, 2022

Adel speaks with Kaveh Vessali about the intersection between data and public policy and the many exciting insights he’s gained from his role delivering smart cities and data transformation projects within the public sector in the middle east.

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Key Takeaways


When we look at the state of a lot of tech stacks today, they are more accessible, I might say in some cases easier to use, they're also more powerful. But what it means is that people in a broader range of backgrounds can actually leverage those skills, because you don't need a deep specialization in order to be able to use data skills using the example marketing we're talking about before. Almost 10% of the jobs that asked for data science skills, not just data skills, but data science skills, are in marketing.


To transform the public sector—focus on finding champions: The biggest piece of driving data transformation projects in the public sector, is by working with audacious leaders who champion using data and AI in government agencies. If you work with them to get a quick win, the roadmap becomes easier to implement over time.


The most important skill is data-driven decision making: While technical skills are important, the most important data skill for policy makers, government workers, and public officials, is data-informed decision making and the ability to make use of data in day to day work.

Key Quotes

The hardest part of technology is always the people. We are always ahead of the game in terms of the tools we have available to us compared to what people can absorb.

About Kaveh Vessali

Photo of Kaveh Vessali

Kaveh is a Partner at PwC Middle East, leading Digital Transformation, Data, Analytics & AI, Smart Cities & Smart Government initiatives throughout the region. He previously served as Vice Consul and Deputy Chief for Political and Economic Affairs at the U.S. Consulate General in Dubai. Kaveh spent almost 15 years in Silicon Valley, first as a founder and early executive in a number of software startups, and later as a strategy, marketing, and product executive at Siebel, SAP, and

Photo of Adel Nehme
Meet our host
Adel Nehme

Adel is a Data Science educator, speaker, and Evangelist at DataCamp where he has released various courses and live training on data analysis, machine learning, and data engineering. He is passionate about spreading data skills and data literacy throughout organizations and the intersection of technology and society. He has an MSc in Data Science and Business Analytics. In his free time, you can find him hanging out with his cat Louis.

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