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London Data Commission - Our story
London Data Commission - Our story
The London Data Commission brought together business leaders, key figures in the governments of both the UK and London, as well as third-sector representatives, economists and data experts, to explore how to improve public private data-sharing. Our aim was to work in collaboration and transparently, sharing insights and findings along the way via blogs, articles and a dedicated website.
A collaborative approach Consultation with stakeholders took place in a range of formats, notably a series of workshops and digital meetings, individual interviews, and smaller working groups to deliver a series of data pilots. The work was steered by a project team of delivery partners: London First, Arup, Microsoft and Oliver Wyman Forum and we worked closely with the Chief Digital Officer for London, Theo Blackwell and his team, as well other key parts of London’s government including the LOTI and TfL.
This consultation process was designed to ensure the proposed Data for London framework benefited from qualitative input from experts, not least from the public sector leaders who will ultimately need to deliver against the priorities identified.
Our key learnings From the outset the London Data Commission focused on the key challenges facing London where sharing of currently available data could make a positive contribution to policy decision-making or public service delivery. Skills, sustainable transport and place-making were identified as key areas. COVID-19 stimulated further debate on the critical role of city-wide data. These key challenges mapped closely to London First’s business priorities for London: People, Place, Connectivity and Competitiveness.
The London Data Commission also mapped the opportunities, risks and barriers to data-sharing and considered the legal and regulatory implications, as well as the ethical and privacy considerations concerning the sharing of data relating to individuals and groups. There was significant goodwill in the private sector towards sharing data, particularly where it achieved corporate social responsibility objectives, but equally commercial sensitivities and concerns around competitive advantage were important considerations.
Over the course of the London Data Commission’s work, clear lessons emerged about how data-led projects can succeed. We found the greatest appetite for collaboration, both between private organisations (private to private) and with public institutions (public and private) was when:
Data contributes to developing practical and scalable solutions which make a difference on the ground.
Solutions centred on citizens’ universal needs, like public health, education or public transport.
Projects closely aligned to corporate social responsibility objectives.
These learnings helped shape the core aims and pillars of the Data for London framework and informed the selection of the topics best suited to undertake a series of data pilots in digital skills provision, electric vehicle infrastructure and barriers to creating smart neighbourhoods. During March, we pivoted to address the COVID-19 crisis, by supporting the GLA and Alan Turning Institute’s project to heat-map the busyness of the capital’s streets and districts, using a range of indicators to help better plan for the easing of lockdown and recovery.
How can the London Data Commission, and the data that our members hold, best support London’s COVID-19 response and recovery? How can the Mayor and the GLA build on the legacy of data innovation in London series of data pilots in digital skills provision, electric vehicle infrastructure and barriers to creating smart neighbourhoods. During March, we pivoted to address the COVID-19 crisis, by supporting the GLA and Alan Turning Institute’s project to heat-map the busyness of the capital’s streets and districts, using a range of indicators to help better plan for the easing of lockdown and recovery.
An ongoing conversation Our work has been a genuine process of collaboration and co-creation and we are encouraged by the support and enthusiasm of City Hall. London First will continue the work of the London Data Commission by working with London’s government to convene the London Data Board, which will provide the necessary leadership to boost the use of data currently available in London and develop the London Data Charter. Working with our partners we will continue to progress the data pilots towards proving the projects work and can deliver key data insights that will help Londoners. Over time we expect the London Data Board to evolve the pilots into the proposed annual Data Innovation.
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