Innovate with data

Discover the role data plays in innovative new business models, products and services. Explore the practical steps you can take to innovate with data. Find ways to learn more and engage with innovation experts.

People to talk to about Innovate with data

We help organisations use data to develop innovative new products and services. We’ve researched and developed tools and techniques that support innovation with input from the wider community. We contribute to the creation of value from data innovations by addressing the following questions:

What is data innovation?
How does data innovation happen? 
How can individuals and organisations get started with data innovation? 

What is data innovation?

Data creates value for individuals and companies when it’s used in ethical ways to power innovative new technologies, tools and services.

Data is behind many of the apps, websites and technologies we use every day. Whether it’s finding a route home or finding answers to complex questions, data is a vital resource for creating innovative new products and services.

To illustrate how data supports innovation this video explores the role it plays in artificial intelligence.

Open data is data anyone can access, use and share. Open data supports innovation and growth by revealing opportunities for businesses large and small to build new services, identify savings and improve operations.

Learn how open data is used to build innovative new products and services in this free online module from the Open Data Institute.

Individuals, organisations and sectors need a trustworthy data infrastructure if they are to build innovative new products and services that create business and social value.

Data infrastructure consists of data assets, the organisations that operate and maintain them, and guides describing how to use and manage the data. Trustworthy data infrastructure is sustainably funded and is directed to maximise data use and value. By maximising data use we maximise the potential for data innovations like AI, that rely on access to the right kinds of data. Which is why a more open data infrastructure, that also protects data that should remain private, offers more opportunities for innovation.

Blockchains, or ‘distributed ledgers’, are part of an innovative new area of technology that has generated a lot of interest. Blockchains have the potential to become an important component of our global data infrastructure.

‘Applying blockchain technology in global data infrastructure’ is a report that presents an overview of blockchain technology and issues that come with it, for a non-technical audience who seek to understand the potential of distributed ledgers and blockchains in a commercial or policy context.

How does data innovation happen?

Explore the business models, techniques and tools that are used to deliver data innovations.

There is a common misconception that the most important part of an AI system is the algorithm, when in fact the data upon which the algorithm is trained and operated is just as important. Access to the data AI needs is, therefore, a source of competitive advantage. This report explores the different models businesses have adopted to support the development of their AI solutions.

Pioneering, diverse companies are using open data to create innovative products and services that fill gaps in markets, generate income and bring wide social, environmental and economic benefits.

Policymakers sometimes struggle to see how data can be used to create valuable innovations in the public sector. They know that open data is relevant to the digital economy and building better public services but fail to see the many other ways that data can be used. We have produced some re-usable solutions (design patterns) that help government policymakers to see how data could be used to create impact.

When developing a new product or service how do you ensure that you protect people from harm?  Increasingly people working with data are exploring the ethics of their practices and, in some cases, being forced to confront those ethics in the face of public criticism.

The Data Ethics Canvas is designed to help identify potential ethical issues associated with a data project or activity. It promotes understanding and debate around the foundation, intention and potential impact of any piece of work, and helps identify the steps needed to act ethically.

A new UK Tech Innovation Index, published by The Data City, shows the most active innovation communities in the UK by innovation categories, captured in an interactive map.

New data regulations like the GDPR might be expected to dampen data innovation by restricting how data is used. But what if the opposite were true? What are the opportunities for innovation?

Get started with data innovation

Need impartial, vendor-neutral advice? Request a free, introductory call with an ODI expert.

Our consultants are experienced in data policy, licensing, training, standards, ethics, emerging tech and open data. We also have access to a wide network of organisations, startups, technical experts and leaders in policy to achieve excellent results for your organisation. To get innovation started with the ODI you can:

  • Join a drop-in session
  • Become an ODI member
  • Set-up a formal partnership

Data could be the key to creating change across your whole sector, from how you offer services to how you design your entire business model. Sectors such as transport, sport, environment and banking have all been given a shake-up by innovators who saw the transformative potential of data, and were ready to put that into action.

Hear from innovators in these sectors through flash talks, a panel discussion and networking at this ODI Members event.

Hosted by our co-founders, inventor of the web Sir Tim Berners-Lee and AI expert Sir Nigel Shadbolt, and ODI CEO Jeni Tennison OBE, the ODI Summit gathers people from governments, businesses and civil society to discuss major issues of the day – from innovative business models to emerging technology, from ethics to trust.

Explore the potential for data innovation and emerging technologies with articles, reports, and guides from the ODI.

Free guides and reports