The ODI is working with water and wastewater services provider United Utilities on an exciting project to support the development of its open data strategy.

United Utilities provides water and wastewater services to 7 million customers across the North West of England. The ODI will be supporting the company to develop and implement an open data strategy to set out its ambition, strategy, governance and plan for implementing open data, and becoming an open data leader in the water sector.

The water sector faces a challenging external environment – whether that is from the impact of climate change on water resources or flood risk, or increasing expectations from customers to deliver better services and to protect and enhance the natural environment. United Utilities recognises how open data can transform its approach to tackling these challenges by driving innovative solutions, raising awareness of performance and ensuring the best decisions are made to deliver outcomes for customers and the environment.

To begin with, the project will pilot the release of open data sets to generate improvements in water and environmental resources management, alongside creating open data processes. For the longer term, the focus will be on firmly establishing the culture and practices of open data to help the company realise the value from better management of data.

Building on United Utilities’ existing open data strategy plans, which are aligned with OFWAT’s H2Open principles, the ODI will support the organisation to better understand current and potential user needs and assess and improve open data maturity. The company is a partner and strong advocate of the Stream collaboration project alongside the ODI, and the open data strategy will complement and support the initiative.

Tim Stanley, Head of Data and Analytics at United Utilities, said:

“Open data gives us a great opportunity to generate innovative solutions to some of the challenges we face as a service provider and generate value for our customers by encouraging new ways of thinking. Delivering open data and the foundations needed to sustain and grow our open data capability is a core part of our data strategy.”