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Open Data Institute plans public service project



Six workstreams in pipeline as ODI receives £6 million for next three years from Innovate UK

The Open Data Institute (ODI) is planning to explore new data enabled service models for the public sector as part of its new programme - backed by a major investment from Government’s Innovation agency.

It has announced the plan to mark the provision of £6 million over the next three years by Innovate UK.

The project will be aimed at improving the understanding of how to implement new service delivery models based on data, and how to publish more open data as part of these approaches.

It will involve bringing together and categorising current best practice, the development of learning tools for public sector works, and funding for organisations to develop showcase open data projects.

The ODI said this should help to increase the pace of public service redesign.

It has also announced plans for five other projects:

  • Improving data publishing. This will be focused on understanding unmet needs and pain points in existing data publishing tools, and developing new solutions through open source prototypes.
  • Making it easier to create open standards for data. The project will gather evidence about how standards are currently created and maintained, understand the needs of their creators and encourage standards bodies to move to open.
  • Peer-to-peer accommodation. This will bring together government, businesses, think tanks and consumer groups to prototype and disseminate new models of gathering and using data in the sector.
  • Helping businesses understand emerging data technology.
  • Enhancing data collaboration between the UK and France, with a focus on cities helping to solve community problems with data.

Each project will involve publishing any reusable materials under an open licence, sharing information about the processes and results with the ODI’s global network, and measuring and evaluating them so that others can learn.

Dr Jeni Tennison (pictured), chief executive officer, at the ODI, said: “Data is transforming the decisions we make as individuals, organisations and societies, from how we navigate from A to B, to finding an appropriate loan, to knowing where to invest to promote innovation. These new projects will advance our understanding of the opportunities data can bring as well as some of the pitfalls to avoid.

“Since the ODI launched five years ago we, with our global network, have unlocked over £80million of value, by supporting new businesses and services, to leading major data focused initiatives. For example, the ODI is currently working in partnership with Sport England to deliver OpenActive, a community led initiative of sport and physical activity organisations and individuals, using open data to get people more active.

“The work we are announcing today will find the best examples of things working well, so we can share and learn from them. We will take these learnings and help businesses and governments to use them and lead by example.”

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