More still to do on Open Data, say Mike Bracken and Nigel Shadbolt at ODI Summit

Cabinet Office digital director Mike Bracken and Open Data Institute chairman Nigel Shadbolt said that there is still more to do if the government, and UK, want to share and access meaningful open data, at the ODI’s 2014 summit on open innovation on 4, November.

By Sarah Aston

06 Nov 2014

“The government is right to take some pride in what it has been able to achieve but [there is] much more to do,” said Nigel Shadbolt.

“We’re doing very well in the UK, we’re ‘top of the pops’ when it comes to various reviews as to the amount of data and the quality of data we are putting out there [but] this is job not done,” he added, reflecting the message sent by Mike Bracken earlier in the day.

Discussing the work that government has done to deliver the digital by default strategy, Bracken told audiences that whilst a lot had been done to create a “digital centre of government” and “fix transactions”, “we have a lot of work [to do] transforming and changing government to go wholesale.”

Founded by Sir Tim Berners-Lee and Professor Nigel Shadbolt, the ODI has secured £10m of government funding, over five years, to maximise the potential of data and the summit explored the evolution of open data and its impact across cultural, economic, environmental and social spheres.

Acknowledging the success government has already had, both Bracken and Shadbolt highlighted open data initiatives that are now in place and will have a significant impact on the way consumers and industries operate but both recognised that there is more to do.

Referring to the data sets the Environment Agency released around the floods that affected large parts of the UK, Shadbolt said: “You never lose an opportunity in a crisis and to their credit the government, the environment agency, worked hard on this and have released key data sets. But this isn’t a job fully finished.

“There are literally dozens of data sets promised, still difficult to achieve, that we need to give us the capability in this country to manage this sort of civil contingency.”

For Bracken and Shadbolt better conversation, more training and an institutional shift in the way government thinks about data is needed.

Closing the summit, Shadbolt concluded: “It’s a sense of urgency I am trying to instil here. There is so much more to do.”


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