UKA correspondentThursday 10 August 2017

An opportunity to explore Data4Good in public services

UKAuthority event to highlight the potential and address the issues in using data to support the public wellbeing

The public sector data landscape is becoming increasingly diverse and complex, but also has more potential than ever to make a positive contribution to the public wellbeing.

Woman adjusting symbols on big screenIn recent months there have been a series of initiatives that demonstrate the point: Scotland’s Improvement Service has set up a Spatial Hub to provide access to location data; Transport for London has made data available for pilots aimed at developing smarter modes of transport; HM Land Registry has made progress with its plans for the digital registration of all land; and Northern Ireland’s Department of Finance has thrown its weight behind projects using open data to support education in schools.

It is all part of the trend in which the public sector has come to see data as one of its most valuable assets. It is opening the doors for the smarter delivery of services through harnessing data in real time; enabling third parties to develop new digital services through making its data open and providing access through APIs; and making progress in analytics and data science to provide new insights and anticipate future pressures and demands.

Understanding grows

There is immense promise in further exploiting data to support day-to-day delivery and the strategic planning of services, and the understanding is spreading throughout public authorities.

But there are serious issues to be addressed. They include compliance with the General Data Protection Regulation, due to come into force next year; building public trust over how the data is used; identifying and obtaining access to new sources; finding the right models for the provision of open data; and meeting the technology challenge of harnessing data from the internet of things.

It creates an exciting but also demanding prospect which no public authority can ignore.

UKAuthority is providing an unmissable opportunity to public servants to strengthen their understanding of the issues with free-to-attend conference – Data4Good – in central London on 24 October. Speakers from the pathfinders in the public sector and experts from the private sector will provide their perspectives, addressing issues such as the value of data visualisation, strategies for open data, the potential of data science and the importance of standards.

It will be a showcase, an exploration and a forum for discussion – a significant step towards helping your organisation exploit the full value of its data.

Further details and registration – open to those with a public sector email address – can be found here. We look forward to meeting you.