Increase access to data while maintaining trust

Credit: ODI/Caley Dewhurst

R&D: Sustainable data institutions

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We are exploring how data institutions can become sustainable, and are researching areas – from initial funding through to revenue/business models – that may help to achieve sustainability

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Read 'Designing sustainable data institutions' Read our report: Designing sustainable data institutions

In spring 2019 the ODI published research which found that data institutions – for example data clubs, data trusts, cooperatives and other models – could be a useful way of increasing access to data while retaining trust.

Since then there has been a significant interest in the scoping, design and creation of new data institutions across a range of sectors. Many organisations are currently exploring the potential value of setting up a data institution of some kind, with some projects already underway. But there are still many uncertainties as to how they might be set up most effectively and become sustainable in the long term.

Through the projects outlined below, the ODI aims to identify the mechanisms that contribute to trustworthiness, and the factors that may promote sustainability, providing practical and implementable advice to those considering setting up a data institution.

Sustainable data institutions

While there is existing evidence around how some institutional models, like data clubs, can be made sustainable, the revenue models and approach to sustainability are not well documented.

This project aims to explore the process by which data institutions become sustainable, exploring how they initially get funded, through to the range of revenue and business models that they might adopt to achieve sustainability. The project will also explore how different revenue models might be better suited for different types of institution.

Sustainable data institutions: why are they important?

  • Project: January–March 2020

While a growing interest in creating data institutions is good news from a data stewardship perspective, ideally they would be set up with a clear plan to achieve sustainability. This will help to increase support, build trust and unlock initial funding. By understanding the factors that contribute towards creating sustainable institutions, we hope to support the development of a range of new institutions. Increasing the number of well-designed and sustainable data institutions will ultimately increase access to data