National Data Strategy: the opportunities, barriers, challenges & actions

Date posted
24 November 2020
Reading time
7 Minutes
Ruth McGuinness

National Data Strategy: the opportunities, barriers, challenges & actions

Join Kainos for an exclusive panel at AI Con 2020 around the National Data Strategy on 4th December 2020, 1pm. There will be an exclusive line up of speakers from DWP, AWS, the Office for AI and DCMS to discuss the impact of the National Data Strategy and the importance of prioritising public trust while building a world-leading data economy.

Data is now the driving force of the world's modern economies, fuelling innovation in organisations large and small, across the private, public and third sectors. The UK is a leading digital nation - our data market is the largest in Europe. The UK tech sector grew dramatically in 2019, with the UK securing 33% of European tech investment globally, now sitting behind only the US and China in terms of venture capital investment. There is no doubt that the last five years has seen huge technological changes, and national governments are recognising the need to respond accordingly. In the National Data Strategy (NDS), the UK Government sets out an ambitious, pro-growth strategy that aims to drive the UK in building a world-leading data economy, whilst ensuring public trust in data use. The NDS is a framework for the action that UK government will take on data through missions, associated areas of focus, and policy. It is not the final answer, but part of an evolving conversation about the way in which the government supports the use of data in the UK. 'Mission 3' of the NDS focuses on 'Transforming government's use of data to drive efficiency and improve public services' it describes the massive untapped potential in the way in which the government uses data. However, it is acknowledged that there are numerous obstacles to realising that potential, many of which are long-term and systemic. These include real and perceived legal and security risks of sharing data; a lack of incentives, skills or investment to drive effective governance and overhaul data infrastructure; and a lack of consistency in the standards and systems used across government, making it hard to share data efficiently. Data is a non-depletable resource in theory, but its use is limited by barriers to its access and these barriers undermine the performance of public services and our economy, risking poorer outcomes for citizens. At AI Con 2020, I'll be joined by thought leaders in data across government and industry to discuss the opportunities that the NDS presents, as well as the barriers or possible challenges that will need to be addressed before the strategy can be put into action. Hear from this exclusive panel on 4th December:
  • Chris Hayman, UK Public Sector General Manager, AWS
  • Gaia Marcus, Head of National Data Strategy, DCMS
  • Peter Campbell, AI Practice Director, Kainos
  • Nick Swanson, Deputy Head, Office for Artificial Intelligence
  • Charlie Boundy, Head of Data Science, DWP
Register for your free virtual seat here.

About the author

Ruth McGuinness