Around the world, governments, businesses and communities are drawing on data and digital technologies to help respond to challenges that surround us.
Solving 21st century challenges with open data
How is the UK leading the world in open data?
Open data: an essential part of modern policy-making
Open data has emerged as a core component of the UK’s commitment to open policy-making. It is key to the digital transformation of government, which will only continue to increase in pace with the next parliament.
The UK has already taken steps to harness the benefits of open data for improved policy-making, and social, environmental and economic benefit. The Open Data Institute’s open data roadmap sets out steps the government can take to continue to drive progress.
What is open data?
Open data is data that anyone can access, use and share. Open data is:
helping government to make public services more efficient;
driving innovation and economic growth by revealing opportunities for businesses and startups to build new services;
offering citizens insights into how central and local government works, improving public trust and boosting political engagement; and
helping government and communities to keep track of local spending and performance.
Not all data is open data
Data can be freely accessible but that does not mean it is ‘open data’. For example, we can access Twitter feeds any time, but we cannot reuse the data without buying a licence with strict conditions. Open data is data that is published under a licence with express permission to reuse, share and modify.
Some data will be closed for reasons like privacy, commerciality and security. Open data should not compromise privacy: in any circumstances where personal data is being dealt with, there need to be meaningful privacy safeguards and ways for people to access their own data.