News Update

UK Government publishes new data strategy

Sep 2020 | No Comment

Digital Secretary Oliver Dowden has launched a National Data Strategy and set out the action the government will take to support the use of data in the UK.

The new strategy will put data at the heart of the country’s recovery from the pandemic so companies and organisations can use it to drive digital transformation, innovate and boost growth across the economy.

The strategy, which lays out five priority ‘missions’ the government must take to capitalise on the opportunities data offers, is a central part of the government’s wider ambition for a thriving, fast-growing digital sector in the UK.

It includes:

  • Plans for 500 analysts to be trained up in data and data science across the public sector by 2021.
  • Plans for a new Government Chief Data Officer to lead a whole-government approach to transforming government’s use of data to drive efficiency and improve public services.
  • Plans to introduce primary legislation to boost participation in Smart Data initiatives, which can give people the power to use their own data to find better tariffs in areas such as telecoms, energy and pensions.
  • A new £2.6m project to address current barriers to data sharing and support innovation to detect online harms.

The government has also announced up to ten new Innovation Fellowships to support the digital transformation across government. Successful applicants will have the opportunity to work closely with the No. 10 Data Science team, Government Digital Service networks and a peer-group of exceptional talent.

The UK is already a leading digital nation. Data-enabled UK service exports were estimated to be £243 billion in 2019, or 75 per cent of total service exports. And globally, the UK now sits behind only the US and China in terms of venture capital investment into the technology sector.

A 2019 McKinsey report also found that, internationally, a larger proportion of fast-growing companies use data-driven practices compared to slower-growing companies.

The strategy commits the government to develop a clear policy framework to determine what interventions are needed to unlock the value of data across the economy and help propel the UK forward in the recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.


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