New doors are opening for the UK public sector in its use of data, with advances in the linking and sharing of datasets, breaking new ground in data science and early progress in the application of artificial intelligence. There is a growing appreciation of the value of data throughout organisations, with people other than the data specialists showing the curiosity to come up with ideas
But there is also a need for clear guidelines in data protection and a strong ethical framework to underpin the progress: a key element in using data for the public good is doing it in a way that maintains public trust. This can sometimes create difficulties for public sector bodies, and they need to find the right balance in which ambition and ideas can evolve without breaking that trust.
This was an underlying theme to the 2022 UKAuthority AI & Data4Good virtual conference, supported by Alteryx, Agilisys and Hitachi Solutions, which brought together a number of data and AI leaders in the public and third sectors to explain initiatives and discuss key issues.