Osborne promises “open data” revolution
Chancellor George Osborne says the UK should be at the forefront of an “open data” revolution, enjoying better services and reduced costs.
Speaking at Google Zeitgeist 2011, Osborne said the government planned to unlock thousands of sets of data to help consumers make informed choices and keep the Government honest over spending.
“Our ambition is to become the world leader in open data, and accelerate the accountability revolution that the internet age has unleashed,” he said, citing the fact that the Government had made 6,000 data sets on costs and spending available.
“Already it seems incredible that this time last year, the British public couldn’t access even some of the most basic information needed to hold the government to account, such as spending data broken down on an item by item basis, procurement tender documents and the salaries of senior government officials.”
More data on public services
This is the raw data that will enable you, for the first time, to analyse the performance of public services, and of competing providers within those public services.
According to Osborne, more data on public services will be the next link in the chain.
“Over the next 12 months, we’re going to unlock some of the most valuable data sets still locked away in government servers,” he said.
“This is the raw data that will enable you, for the first time, to analyse the performance of public services, and of competing providers within those public services.”
“So a year from now, websites and services will use this data to help the public find the answers to important questions. Which is the right GP for my family? How well are the different departments in my nearest hospital performing?”
“Was the person who broke into a car on my street ever apprehended by the police, and if so, what happened next?”
While public services might see an immediate shake-up, Osborne said better analysis of wider data sets could also benefit Britain by driving new industries.
“The economic impact of this open data revolution will be profound,” Osborne claimed.
“The annual global market for financial services data analytics is estimated to be worth over $20 billion and the market for health analytics could be even larger – as much as $300 billion a year in the US alone.”
Citing a joint venture research centre put together by Imperial College London and University College London, Osborne claimed the UK would be at the “forefront” of this emerging industry.