The think tank Demos has published a report outlining the opportunities, and the barriers to achieving them, of big data in the UK.
Big data promises much, including improved efficiency and decision making as well as encouraging the public to engage more directly with government. However, delivering on these promises is challenging and Demos believes that government must transform the way it collects and collates data if it is to maximise and exploit it appropriately.
Barriers to the benefits of big data
- Some public servants remain to be convinced of value of big data
- Lack of analytical/quantitative skills – not just in government but in the population as a whole
- [Lack of]transparency between public and private sectors
- Government needs to make radical changes to how it collects and collates the data
- Frontline staff should have mobile devices to help them gather and access data real time
- London data store a great example
- Improve UK skill base in data analysis
- Ensure data generated by contractors are shared
- ‘Modular’ or crowdsourced approaches will improve democratic participation and data analysis
- London’s Data Store is held up as an example of providing a single access point to public data (in this instance to data generated by the Greater London Assembly)
The report also focuses on other key issues, including data governance and accountability and data co-production.
The full report, The Data Dividend is free to download from Demos.