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Next steps for the National Data Strategy - implementation priorities, privacy and public trust, and supporting economic growth and public service delivery

March 2021


Price: £95 PLUS VAT
Format: DOWNLOADABLE PDF


***Full-scale policy conference taking place online***
This conference will examine next steps for the National Data Strategy (NDS) - and the steps that will be needed for its key aims, including:


  • growth - the Government achieving its aims for boosting the UK economy through the use of data
  • safety - improving regulation around data protection and privacy

Delegates will assess the proposals in the Strategy and key issues for implementation, with discussion on:


  • supporting business innovation, as well as the use of data and priorities for harnessing it to boost productivity and the economy
  • improving the use of data in the delivery of services in local and national government
  • data protection, privacy and safeguarding
  • developing data skills
  • IP issues and the future of the international flow of data - as the EU releases draft data adequacy decisions which support continued free flow of data between the EU and the UK

The discussion is bringing together stakeholders with key policy officials who are due to attend from the Cabinet Office; DCMS; the CDEI; the CMA; DfT; DWP; the Geospatial Commission; Government Banking; the Government Legal Department; HMRC; Home Office; the IPO; the MOD; the MOJ; the NAO; the Office for Artificial Intelligence; the ONS; Ofcom; the Serious Fraud Office; The Scottish Government; and the Welsh Government.


The agenda


  • The Data Strategy and next steps for implementation
  • The use of data within government - improving usability, coordination, responsiveness, and service delivery
  • Data protection, privacy and safeguarding - intellectual property, early indications following transition from the EU, and regulatory priorities going forward
  • Developing data skills in the UK
  • Next steps for developing the international flow of data
  • Maximising the potential of data to boost the economy - supporting private sector innovation, closing labour market skills gaps, and improving productivity

Key areas for discussion:


  • data and economic growth:
    • the potential - assessing policy and strategic priorities for unlocking the value of data across the economy, developing the skills base, and supporting productivity
    • infrastructure - how to support better use of data to inform development and need as outlined in the Strategy
    • resilience - priorities for the working group on developing the National Digital Twin of the UK’s infrastructure systems and built environment
    • interoperability and access - options for policy and industry in improving data availability and standards
    • the UK data sector - options for supporting:
      • innovation - and the commercialisation of research in data-driven enterprises and services
      • growth - in new and established businesses, research bodies and academic institutions involved in data services and R&D
      • international leadership - what will be need to secure the UK’s positioning in the sector globally
  • data protection and privacy:
    • balancing strategic priorities:
      • data-driven economic growth - a focus for policy through encouragement of widespread uptake of digital technologies
      • security and regulatory agility - the development of a strong and sustainable data protection regime that is able to adapt over time
    • business use of data:
      • encouraging best practice - including options for incentivising responsivity and transparency, and for further regulation and legislation
      • data literacy - latest thinking on ways to develop citizen empowerment, backed by the skills and resources for choosing when to share personal data and how it is used
  • data use in government:
    • the new Government Chief Data Officer - priorities for their role in developing the approach across the quality, coordination and use of data in government to improve services
    • coordination - creating joined-up data infrastructure with effective data sharing between organisations
    • efficiency - how to streamline the collection and management of data results, so as to improve service delivery and minimise burden on organisational resources and capacity
    • public trust - priorities for:
      • data protection - ensuring strong practices across the public sector
      • communication - strategies for greater clarity and transparency on the collection, governance and use of personal data
  • data skills - how key challenges for developing data skills outlined in the NDS can be overcome, looking at:
    • a coordinated vision - what does it look like, and what are the roles of stakeholders in education, business and government in achieving it
    • priority skills - clarity on data skill sets most needed by the economy, and joining up the needs of employers with the aims of those entering education, training and the workforce
    • the education and training system:
      • education and qualifications providers - priorities for better integrating data skills into education provision, and preparing those entering the job market for the data economy
      • industry and policymakers and regulators - options for fostering the data and digital skills directly applicable to the workplace, including work placements and apprenticeships
    • data-skilled businesses - how organisations of all scales, including SMEs, can be supported in developing greater understanding and abilities in:
      • reducing inefficiencies and driving up quality and growth
      • investment decisions and understanding in leadership groups of organisational and operational strategy driven by the use of data
  • the UK’s future standing in the international data landscape:
    • life outside the EU - implications of outcomes of data adequacy arrangements for European and global business links and flow of data following the UK’s transition from the EU
    • new relationships - next steps for developing effective international data sharing and partnerships with businesses, governments and agencies

Relevant developments:


  • UK National Data Strategy consultation - with government analysing feedback on whether the NDS proposals are fit for purpose in relation to data opportunities, challenges and potential trade-offs
  • ICO publishes new Data Sharing Code of Practice - including guidance for continued responsible data sharing
  • new guidance from the CDEI - on the use of data in local government during COVID-19, and support the use of data-driven innovation
  • New review into use of health data for research and analysis - launched by DHSC, which will feed into the forthcoming Data Strategy for Health and Social Care
  • the National Infrastructure Strategy - setting sets out plans for transformation across the UK
  • Enhancing the UK’s Geospatial Ecosystem - with development of the UK location data market highlighted in the Geospatial Commission’s recent report on growing the geospatial economy
  • Addressing trust in public sector data use - the CDEI report highlighting the importance of alignment with societal values and expectations underpinned by consistency and clear communication
  • Introducing the Government Data Quality Hub:
    • rebranding of the Government Statistical Service Quality Centre as the DQHub, with a wider remit to help improve data quality and analysis across government
    • The Government Data Quality Framework - from the DQHub with data quality action plans, guidance on metadata, and an introduction to data maturity models
  • skills and leadership in government:
    • the ONS’s Data Science Campus training 500 data analysts across the public sector in cutting edge data science and tech fellowships to be offered each year in Downing Street
    • appointment of a Government Chief Data Officer to lead a whole-government approach to transform the use of data in government
  • The future of citizen data systems - the Government Office for Science report of the way citizen data is governed, controlled and used in the UK and other countries, and current trends
  • Online Harms White Paper - setting out plans for improving the regulatory landscape for combatting online harms and protecting personal data
  • the Digital Strategy - which will outline further proposals for how the government will support a digital drive for growth
  • Government Technology Innovation Strategy - which set out plans for improving the use of data and technology across government
  • Industrial Strategy: building a Britain fit for the future - aiming to make the UK the world’s most innovative economy, as well as to spearhead the use of emerging technologies
  • NHS COVID-19 app - promoting concerns from some around increased data sharing and privacy, and impact on the potential effectiveness of the Government’s test and trace strategy

Policy officials attending:


Our forums are known for attracting strong interest from policymakers and stakeholders. Places have been reserved by parliamentary pass-holders from both Houses of Parliament, and officials from the Cabinet Office; the Centre For Data Ethics and Innovation; the CMA; DCMS; the Department for Transport; DWP; the Geospatial Commission; Government Banking; the Government Legal Department; HM Revenue & Customs; the Home Office; the Intellectual Property Office; the Ministry of Defence; Ministry of Justice; the National Audit Office; the Office for Artificial Intelligence; the Office for National Statistics; Ofcom; the Serious Fraud Office; The Scottish Government; and the Welsh Government.


This is a full-scale conference taking place online***


  • full, four-hour programme including comfort breaks - you’ll also get a full recording and transcript to refer back to
  • information-rich discussion involving key policymakers and stakeholders
  • conference materials provided in advance, including speaker biographies
  • speakers presenting via webcam, accompanied by slides if they wish, using the Cisco WebEx professional online conference platform (easy for delegates - we’ll provide full details)
  • opportunities for live delegate questions and comments with all speakers
  • a recording of the addresses, all slides cleared by speakers, and further materials, is made available to all delegates afterwards as a permanent record of the proceedings
  • delegates are able to add their own written comments and articles following the conference, to be distributed to all attendees and more widely
  • networking too - there will be opportunities for delegates to e-meet and interact - we’ll tell you how!

Full information and guidance on how to take part will be sent to delegates before the conference



This pack includes

  • Dropbox video recording of the conference
  • PDF transcript of the discussion, including all speaker remarks and Q&A
  • PDFs of speakers' slide material (subject to permission)
  • PDFs of the delegate pack, including speaker biographies and attendee list
  • PDFs of delegate articles