As we approach the time of the year when the days get shorter and the central heating goes on, I sit here at my desk reflecting on all that has happened with the National Data Strategy Forum since we launched in May. A lot has happened in a short period of time and I am increasingly excited about what is to come, particularly given the ways in which Forum members can now get actively involved in shaping the delivery of the UK’s National Data Strategy.
When the Forum was first launched, I highlighted the exciting role and opportunity the Forum presents to bring together industry, academia, and civil society to help deliver a National Data Strategy that supports innovation, builds trust in data and can help to unleash the potential of data driven technologies to everyone, everywhere across the UK. Just over five months since we started, I am even more excited and confident that the Forum is on its way to really help make this happen. Why am I so confident? Well, a number of reasons come to mind.
Firstly, the reaction, response and interest we have had from the data community to get involved in Forum discussions, roundtables and webinars. Thank you to everyone that has got involved already by signing up to be a Forum member and coming along to provide input, insights and ideas on how we can achieve the aims of the National Data Strategy.
Secondly, another reason why I am excited about the next steps for the Forum is that, thanks to the input and support of Forum members, we have developed and published a work plan of proposed activities around five key areas where collaboration, engagement and partnership is going to be key now and going forward. These areas are:
1. Unlocking the power of data for everyone everywhere
2. Trust in Data
3. Data Reforms
4. Net Zero
5. Monitoring and Evaluation
Within each of these five areas there are, or will be going forward, different ways and opportunities for the data community to get involved in the Forum’s activities depending on the issues and areas that are most relevant. The great news is some of these activities are already underway and some are just only beginning. So now is a great time to get involved. Below are just a few ways you can help already:
Data reforms proposals consultation – Share your views
On 10 September, government launched Data: a new Direction – a consultation on reforms to create “a new ambitious, pro-growth and innovation-friendly data protection regime in the UK”. The Forum has been helping with ensuring there is input from the wider data community to this consultation that closes on the 19 November. There is still time to share your views so please do get involved.
Monitoring and Evaluation Call for Evidence still open
On 23 September the government published its proposed National Data Strategy indicator suite for the monitoring and evaluation of the data strategy. The aim being to “comprehensively map what data sources exist to support this, and identify where we might need to create or commission new research” . The call for evidence closes on 3 December so you still have time to provide your input and response to what is being proposed.
Join Forum working groups
If you are reading this and haven’t yet got involved, don’t worry, it’s not too late. The Forum is always open and looking for more people to get involved and help. So click here to sign up.
We have a working group that has been set up to help steer the Forums work on “Trust in Data”. You can sign up to join this working group here. You can also register your interest in getting involved in the Forum by contacting the Secretariat at NDSForumsecretariat@gov.uk
Finally, it’s not just the work plan areas where Forum members can get involved. DCMS have created this National Data Strategy Forum webpage to provide a hub for sharing guest blogs, examples of the power of data in action and case studies of where organisations have used data to make a difference across our economy and society.
A key aim of the Forum is to keep the conversation that started when the National Data Strategy was published for consultation going as the work to take forward the strategy continues. To do that we need your help. It was great to see the guest blog by Or Lenchner, CEO Bright Data on his reflections of the Forum. But we would love to have more! If you would be interested in sharing, please just get in touch at NDSForumsecretariat@gov.uk
So, as we take our next steps forward with the NDS Forum workplan I would like to thank everyone again for all the help, guidance, support and input which has helped so far. I am really looking forward to working with you all, and I hope many more, as we start to operationalise that workplan and through the Forum demonstrate where and how the UK is already and can continue to be “the world’s number one data destination.”