Department of Veterans’ Affairs takes home innovation prize at Australian Business Awards

By Shannon Jenkins

October 14, 2020

A member of the Catafalque party is seen at the Australian Vietnam Forces National Memorial during a commemorative service in Canberra, Tuesday, February 18, 2020. Australian Government Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA) held a commemorative service for the 50th anniversary of Operation Hammersley at the Australian Vietnam Forces National Memorial. (AAP Image/Lukas Coch)

The Department of Veterans’ Affairs data and insights branch has taken home the prize for business innovation at the 2020 Australian Business Awards for an evidence-based platform, which allows the department to improve outcomes for the veteran community.

The Priority Investment Approach Veterans (PIA-V) platform uses anonymised data and advanced analytics techniques to build comprehensive insights about how veterans engage with and use DVA services. According to the department’s 2018-19 annual report, PIA-V simulates the lifetime financial trajectory of clients, and can be used for costings, budget estimates, client segmentation and policy evaluation.

DVA secretary Liz Cosson said the department’s win reflects its commitment to providing the best possible outcomes for the veteran community.

“That is what the PIA-V platform is all about. It helps us to know as much as we can about veterans and their families so that we can deliver the best possible support for them,” she said.

“Since PIA-V’s introduction, DVA has been able to better understand and monitor expected outcomes for veterans over the long-term, improving our engagement with them and offering proactive support to clients with complex needs.

“This project allows us to tailor policy development, program design and service delivery based on strong evidence and ensuring a needs-based approach.”

Read more: Damning report demands wellbeing-centred support for veterans

PIA-V was implemented in 2017 as part of DVA’s transformation program, and, according to the Australian Business Awards, has been “steering DVA’s daily operations towards greater use of advanced analytics in decision making” to help the department “improve financial and social outcomes for clients at all stages of their wellbeing journey”.

The Business Innovation Award recognises organisations that have implemented initiatives which demonstrate innovative solutions for new and existing business needs. Cosson congratulated her department’s data and insights team on achieving the award as a result of their hard work and commitment.

“This is a valuable project that will have a positive impact on the health and wellbeing of Australia’s veteran community for many years to come and I am pleased that it has been recognised by the Australian Business Awards,” she said.

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