ADR UK has responded to the open call for evidence for the UK's Government's National Data Strategy, submitted on 15 July 2019. The Strategy is being developed by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS), with a draft due for consultation later in 2019.
DCMS leads across UK Government on data-related policy issues. The department ran the call for evidence to consult on the parameters and objectives of the strategy and gather evidence that will underpin it.
ADR UK appreciates the need for and welcomes the creation of a National Data Strategy. There are three core points that run through our response:
- There is a need for a greater appreciation of the necessity to improve data use within government for the purpose of research. Greater investment and commitment are needed to ensure that data is handled properly and that the potential benefits of the government’s wealth of data for research are maximised, particularly for informing policy decisions. This is necessary to avoid data ‘missed use’ as well as the consequences of data misuse.
- There is a need for clear overarching governance structures to emphasise, coordinate and enforce the need for better use of data across government as a whole, including the ethical and responsible use of data.
- There is a need for clearer structures for enforcing the ethical and trustworthy use of public data, with a focus upon public engagement. Increasing public trust in government’s use of data, and raising awareness about the benefits of better sharing of data, is essential for the success of government data initiatives.