Image representing trustworthy data practices at the ODI

Read our guide to data practices

Access to trustworthy sources of data drives economic growth, societal improvement, and environmental security. It is essential for building capable artificial intelligence (AI) and digital systems.

Organisations that fail to demonstrate good practices when they collect, use and share data are less trusted, reducing their ability to have an economic, social and environmental impact.

Equally, concerns over fraud or data theft can undermine trust in legitimate and beneficial data practices. With the accelerating pace of technology and the rapid growth of AI, the need to assure the trustworthiness of an organisation’s data practices is urgent.

Data assurance at ODI

Trust in data has been at the heart of the ODI’s approach since 2012. Trust in data practices is explicitly at the heart of our five-year strategy (2023-28). In this project we’re set to ignite the data assurance market, leveraging our renowned independence, market access and substantial track record.

Since 2020, the ODI has received funding from DCMS and DSIT as a delivery partner to Mission 1 of the National Data Strategy. With government partners, we invested this funding in exploring the data assurance landscape, building the body of evidence required to grow the market around trust in data.

Despite soaring demand for tools to assess data trustworthiness, the ODI has found that a significant gap exists, whilst there are a plethora of technical frameworks to allow organisations to evaluate their data and data infrastructures, there is no framework for organisations to demonstrate the trustworthiness of their organisational data practices in an accessible and easy to understand way.

Defining the data practices

We have developed a framework of data practices that can be used to prove an organisation's trustworthiness when creating, using or sharing data. and to improve the communication between the technical and strategic parts of a business.

Built from years of research, they are intended to explain in a straightforward and clear manner (as far as possible minimising the use of technical jargon) the areas or organisational practice that should be being considered when an organisation is ‘thinking about data’.

Testing the data practices

We are developing two new products which we believe will offer significant value to organisations and enable us to test the applicability of the data practices

The Data Practice Assessment is a tool that enables organisations to assess if they have adequately considered each data practice giving an indication of their trustworthiness with data.

The Data Sharing Risk Assessment (DSRA) is a tool to enable organisations to assess risks when sharing data.

Interested organisations are invited to join beta programmes for both tools to help us assess their value and usability.