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CASE STUDY Saudi Data and Artificial Intelligence Authority

Reimagining Saudi Arabia’s economy

How Saudi Data & AI Authority (SDAIA) is accelerating adoption of innovative data and AI solutions in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

3-minute read

Driving a national transformation with data and AI

In 2016, Saudi Arabia unveiled its Vision 2030, an ambitious plan to build a more diversified, innovative nation that empowers its people to thrive. The Government views the nation’s digital transformation as a key enabler of Vision 2030. In 2019, the Saudi Data & AI Authority (SDAIA) was established to help the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia become a global leader in responsible AI and create a world-class AI ecosystem of government and private sector entities.

Building a data- and AI-driven economy is a significant undertaking. It requires a bold vision, strong leadership, carefully crafted strategies, a regulatory framework conducive to digital transformation, and enabling technology infrastructure. It’s also crucial to have a collaborative ecosystem of government and private sector entities that build talent, deploy AI technologies, and drive adoption.

From strategy to infrastructure to talent

SDAIA has been working to deploy innovative data and AI solutions in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. This has included defining strategies for integrating data and AI into key domains and assisting SDAIA in the launch of the National Data Management Office to establish foundational, national data and AI regulations.

In conjunction with Accenture, SDAIA established the national cloud infrastructure as well as the National Data Bank, which enables secure, efficient data sharing among government entities. Accenture assisted SDAIA with AI research and development for the strategy of an Arabic natural language processing (NLP) mobile app.

To build talent and capacity in data and AI, SDAIA has collaborated with leading international academic institutions to establish training programs and scholarships. These initiatives have trained more than 45,000 professionals to elevate their data and AI skills. There are plans to train over 25,000 women over the next five years.

SDAIA is continuing to make strides in boosting the Kingdom’s transformation to a data-driven economy. We welcome Accenture’s partnership to support cutting-edge research and promote digital innovation.

H.E. Dr. Abdullah AlGhamdi / President of SDAIA

A data/AI transformation that governments around the world can emulate

In just five years, SDAIA has built a strong foundation for Saudi Arabia to become a globally competitive, data- and AI-driven economy. With a cohesive national strategy, regulatory frameworks, and a national digital infrastructure, it is empowering diverse industries to adopt and innovate data and AI technologies and extend more economic opportunities to millions of Saudis. It has an operating Arabic NLP app, with potential to serve the educational, professional, and business needs of hundreds of millions of people across the Arab world. Throughout the journey, SDAIA has promoted security, privacy, and ethics while taking tangible steps to drive economic development.

Today the National Data Bank is connected to more than 200 key government systems and has catalyzed the establishment of Estishraf, a national insights and analytics platform that supports data-driven decision making and planning. In 2023, more than 85 government entities benefited from Estishraf’s services, resulting in an estimated 50 Billion SAR in value.

SDAIA’s comprehensive approach to pivoting to a data- and AI-driven nation—and its remarkable progress over the last five years—sets a great example for governments around the world.

Julie Sweet / Accenture CEO and Chairman

Meet the team

Raymond Makhoul
Client Account Lead & Managing Director – Strategy & Consulting

Abir Habbal
Managing Director – Data & AI