Mel PoluckEditorThursday 30 March 2017

Scotland launches its first data register

Scottish Government has developed its first authoritative list of local authorities and seeks feedback for its further development

The Scottish Government has developed its first authoritative list of local authority data and is looking for feedback from organisations on how to improve it.

Scottish flag - red lion on yellowThe register is a single, authoritative list of  Scottish local authorities and has been developed as part of broader work on a common approach to the creation and maintenance of such data across Scotland.

Registers provide government organisations with a reliable source of data to which they can link via an API. This can then easily feed in to services they provide to citizens and businesses.

“We want to consider a different, more efficient approach that avoids the risks that come from the use of multiple lists which might potentially contain different – or out of date – information,” writes David Duncan-Fraser on the Digital Scotland blog. He adds that the team based their approach on the work of Government Digital Service (GDS) which is developing registers and launched two this week in alpha form. 

Essential ingredient

“The ability to access and share the non-sensitive, publically available, data needed to power our digital services” is “an essential ingredient” in transforming public services, he writes.

The alpha release means that the digital team will continue to develop the list and begin to develop new ones, as it receives and incorporates feedback. “Our aim was to develop a simple register as an exemplar of how future registers will be developed and managed. We have now created an alpha - it means we are testing our assumptions using prototype services,” writes Duncan-Fraser.

Colin Cook, acting director of digital in the Scottish Government, said: “The alpha register is just the start of our work on creating a new national platform for authoritative lists or registers, which will become the single point of access to trustworthy and reliable data needed to transform the delivery of digital services.”

The team that developed the register is now calling on the public sector to use the data and send feedback on its usability ahead of a beta launch. It will work with the Local Government and Communities Division to improve the register in the coming weeks.

 Image by glasgow's finest, CC BY 2.0 through flickr