Five questions for our data strategist

Laura advises municipal partners on concepts for using data in the long term according to the needs of the local contexts and on setting out the key points for this in her own data strategies. Internally, the Venezuelan-born Laura, who has a particular fondness for yeast pancakes and French rolls, is responsible for knowledge transfer – and when she’s on vacation, you quickly notice it: because without her warm-heartedness, the team is simply missing something!

Consultant Data Strategies

Laura Dieguez

At DKSR, you work as a data strategy consultant. What do you enjoy about your job?

What I enjoy most about my job is getting to know the faces behind the cities and municipal corporations we work with. When we’re working on data strategies, we’re usually dealing with various data governance arrangements: this includes talking to the people who handle data on a daily basis. It’s exciting to see the many different and sometimes very creative ways that people choose to approach and work with data.

From Venezuela to Germany: what impressed you most about the cities you lived in?

I’ve always loved how nature and the city blend together in the cities of Venezuela. Since we have a tropical climate there, trees play a big role in regulating the temperature in the cities, so no matter where you are, you feel like you’re walking through a forest.

You worked on a study about international data strategies. What fact stuck with you?

The study made it clear to me that a data strategy is a really important step – regardless of what stage a municipality is at in its journey to becoming a smart city or region. Whether a city or municipality is at the very beginning or at an advanced stage, a data strategy serves as a steering wheel for the entire data ecosystem and provides direction that ultimately benefits citizens*.

What aspect do you think still gets too little attention when cities write data strategies?

The potential of sharing across different cities and communities. A data strategy can make collaborative use of data-driven solutions and best practices a principle for a city’s approach to data. This ranges from sharing expertise and experience in implementing data-based use cases to sharing specific code and applications.

If the city of the future offered time machines – where would you travel?

I would travel to the 19th century and accompany Alexander von Humboldt on one of his journeys through South America.

Which book did you read last?

Falkó by Arturo Perez Reverte: a historical novel about the adventures of an undercover agent during the Spanish Civil War.