Open data

What is the idea?

  • Use the active release of Open Data in a controlled way to facilitate regional e economic growth.


  • The UK Commission For Employment and Skills in their report of December 2014 Careers of the Future said ‘While we can’t predict the future, it seems increasingly likely that technology will pervade all aspects of the workplace.’
  • Local organisations create and store large amounts of data and information much of which could be used to create new products and services both within the public and private sectors.
  • Making this data available in an anonymised, safe and secure format is a way in value could be released into the market, helping the region to become recognised as a great place to invest in and work with data in a safe and secure way.
  • The greater use of public data has been identified as a business development opportunity by the North East Combined Authority, Business Durham, the Federation of Small Businesses North East and Dynamo North East.
  • Being seen as an area that is leading in data innovation will give young people an incentive to get into technology through its application to social and business issues. Open data could be used to support Code Clubs and curriculum activity within schools.

Open Data Benefits

  • According to the Open Data Handbook there are many areas where open data can be of value and examples of how it has been used already. There are also many different groups of people and organisations who can benefit from the availability of open data, including government itself.
  • The government has made transparency and open data a key priority. The Local Government Association (LGA) promotes and encourages a meaningful approach to open data to:
    • Design services around user needs
    • Encourage and empower citizens to shape their communities and services
    • Drive efficiencies and public service transformation
    • Promote economic and social growth through the innovative use of data
    • Be transparent and publicly accountable
  • At the same time, it is impossible to predict precisely how and where value will be created in the future. The nature of innovation is that developments often come from unlikely places. Areas where open government data is creating value include:
    • Transparency and democratic control
    • Participation
    • Self-empowerment
    • Improved or new private products and services
    • Innovation
    • Improved efficiency of government services
    • Improved effectiveness of government services
    • Impact measurement of policies
    • New knowledge from combined data sources and patterns in large data volumes
    • Creating new businesses or revenue streams.
  • Economically, open data is of great importance as well. Several studies, including a report by DEFRA on the benefits of the Infrastructure for Spatial Information in the European Community (INSPIRE) regulations of 2009 has estimated the economic value to Europe of open data at several tens of billions of Euro annually.
  • Open data has increased government efficiency. For example, Land Registry (the government agency responsible for registering land and property in England and Wales) has published its cadastral parcels (a comprehensive register of the real estate) through the INSPIRE programme which has both improved efficiency in Local Government and is expected to increase the economic benefits from just under £5 million to beyond £100 million a year.


  • To set up the controlled relase of Open Data using a suitale platform such as Data Mill North, working iwthintrested regional groups.


If you are interested in helping please get in touch.

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