Tag Archives: ODUG

The Minister’s speech – #opendata

The Cabinet Office Minister, Matt Hancock MP, spoke about data-driven government at the Open Data Institute (ODI) summit this week. It was in many ways an inspiring speech – it had an optimistic, positive tone and was full of ambition. It was, however, short on action and pledges. Against the background of government support for various groups linked to open data being withdrawn and concerns arising about the future of FoI, this glimpse of policy gives little hope of a much brighter future for open data.  Continue reading The Minister’s speech – #opendata


Met Office – best in the world?

The rain was pouring down outside so Bank Holiday Monday was a good time to read the blog from Met Office Chief Scientist Professor Dame Julia Slingo OBE FRS in which she reflects on this summer’s weather. The title – “So what happened to our summer?” – gives away the sense of mild embarrassment about the poor predictions for July and August. The Met Office has lost the confidence of the BBC which has terminated the weather presenting contract. (This Met Office blog covers that and criticism of its apps.) Beyond the accuracy of its forecasting, I see evidence that the Met Office has confused governance, is not being very open with its data, not focusing on the public’s needs and opinions, setting itself lower targets for forecasting accuracy, and is becoming less transparent in its operations. Perhaps it’s no surprise that the organisation is being reviewed by Government, not least as they were given the go-ahead last year to spend £100m on a new computer.   Continue reading Met Office – best in the world?

National Information Infrastructure

It’s a bit of a mouthful and it needs a moment to reflect on what it means. But the NII, as we can call it, is vital to anyone who cares about the nation’s data and what it can do to improve decision making.

A strong and ambitious NII to safeguard the publication of the nation’s key datasets will benefit everyone as it will:

  • Drive the evidence-based analysis and the effective re-design of public services
  • Create new economic opportunities as businesses, academics and entrepreneurs can use this guaranteed data to build new products, create new jobs and provide new products for citizens
  • Enable any citizen to use the data to monitor the activities of government and hold the government to account

ODUG (I am a member) has today produced a major document on the future of the NII.  Continue reading National Information Infrastructure