Sharing Data — benefits & opportunities, blockers & constraints

Benefits

Improved data sharing informs better decisions, leading to efficiencies in operations as well as growth in user demand for data, products and value-added services (including services relating to the growing data market).

From an economic perspective, as we’ve covered before, there is value in moving from Closed data to Shared and Open data, enabling other actors to re-use the data to provide new public and commerical services at the national levels and beyond. In terms of improved efficiency and effectiveness, there are the following benefits:

  • Data sharing as a driver of improved data quality;

Opportunities

A number of new/ improved opportunities are likely to result from improved data sharing. Some of these will arise from greater ‘ease of working’ for an organisation and its stakeholders (including its customers and partners). Meanwhile, the creation of a network of active data users will drive data innovation. Opportunities include:

  • Growing demand for data — and growing evidence of that demand and of the value of the data;

Blockers & constraints

There are a number of potential blockers and constraints to the implementation of a model for improved data sharing These fall under a number of headings. Issues include, but are not limited to:

Human

Fear of:

  • Data quality not being good enough — fear of embarrassment;

Perception of users’ lack of awareness/ appreciation/ understanding of:

  • What the data is, where it comes from and how it is produced (and what other datasets may have been used to produce it); and

Lack of, or inappropriate, incentives to deliver innovation.

Commercial

  • Lack of incentives for regulated utilities to invest, develop/ support open data systems;

Regulatory/ legal

  • Uncertain, evolving (cross-sector) regulatory landscape regarding data;

Technical

  • Lack of resources to supply/ receive data;