This seminar focused on the way forward for the development of the UK’s data economy.
Areas for discussion included:
- Latest on the development of the National Data Strategy and what is needed from policy and the sector itself to support organisations in utilising data to drive growth;
- Broadening access to public sector data for the private sector, including SMEs;
- Increasing public involvement and trust in the use and treatment of their data;
- Improving public services and the way data is gathered, exchanged, and used across government - and in the private and third sectors; and
- Next steps for the UK’s data infrastructure.
Delegates discussed priorities for developing the UK’s wider data economy and delivering improvements in the UK’s data infrastructure - including what further support might be needed from policymakers and central government.
There was further discussion on utilising data to drive wider economic growth and to stimulate increased business productivity. Delegates looked at the way forward for overcoming some of the key barriers - including skills requirements and the development and sharing of cross-sectoral expertise and best practice.
Further sessions focused on the next steps for developing increased digitisation and utilisation of data across the UK economy and a range of public services.
The seminar followed the publication of the Challenges in using data across government report by the National Audit Office, which set out a number of recommendations on improving the handling and use of data across government departments and the treatment of data as a strategic asset.
Also taking place in the context of the GovTech Catalyst programme, delegates considered the way forward for supporting data-driven innovation in services and their delivery - including improvements in quality and reliability, efficiency, and cost savings.
Further sessions looked at latest developments in private-sector innovation in data handling and delivery of data-driven public services. Delegates examined options for improving partnerships and collaboration between government and others in the public sector, as well as businesses, charities, and other stakeholder groups, to promote continued innovation and technological development.
They also assessed key lessons learnt in the private sector and across the wider economy in developing data handling best practice - and their applicability in government departments and public sector bodies.
The agenda also looked at the way forward for increasing public trust in the use of data by Government and across the wider economy. Delegates examined key ethical questions around the handling of personal and identifying data, including data privacy, cyber security and data protection, and profiling.
Discussion also took place on the way forward for guarding against the use of poor-quality or incomplete data in making policy decisions - including the effect on individuals and societal groups, with the NAO’s report highlighting the case of the handling of the Windrush situation.
Further sessions looked at improving data handling practices within government departments and agencies, and other public sector bodies. Discussion took place on key issues being discussed for the National Data Strategy in the areas of data standardisation and transfers between departments, improving the quality of data collected and held in government databases, and resourcing for the implementation of best practice in data handling across government.