Open data is changing the way businesses are accessing, using and sharing information. The use of open data, with a licence, can allow CIOs to identify customer behaviours and predict digital trends.

Open data is already being used by the UK Government to boost economic growth and support transparency. CIO UK looks at seven leading Chief Information Officers who are embracing open data to help create new products and services, develop new business strategies and identify gaps in the market. See also: (How 8 CIOs are using machine learning to boost innovation)

"We are also moving to increasing use of analytics to understand the nature of risk in the services we deliver by understanding, for example, correlations between certain data attributes and crime outcomes. This is enabling us to redesign processes in some areas to focus energies on areas of greatest risk or unpredictability.

"Across government, increasingly open access to services has enabled us to better integrate with data sources from other departments, and we are increasingly leveraging industry-wide open data and open standards."
Sarah Wilkinson, Home Office CTO


"As part of the sharing economy I have been working with Intermountain Health in the US and the open source community in the UK as well as Marand in Slovenia to promote open data archetypes for health."
Rachel Dunscombe, Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust CIO


"I am involved with an open data project with Newcastle University to improve the sharing of underground 3D data; the aim is to reduce roadwork time in the north-east by having better information about what is underground – from soil type to pipe type."
James Robbins, Northumbrian Water CIO


"An open data strategy has been set that will see health data in Ireland, where appropriate, made available to an innovative data community. The vision is for new exciting information solutions to be developed for patients and clinicians alike."
Richard Corbridge, HSE Ireland CIO


"We're looking at open data, such as Environment Agency river levels, to create automated responses for those customers in danger from flooding. Our latest mobile apps are cutting out process steps that used to involve our customers making phone calls or finding their way to a desktop computer to approve spend on their sites, and this year we'll roll out our NFC tags to several sites to show how we can use smartphones to ensure we're working on the right asset.

"Suffice to say that we're looking at any way that technology can improve facilities management, by capturing or delivering data that adds value to some part of the process."
Chris Weston, Bellrock CIO


"I can be a bit mischievous and challenge people's thinking about the digital world if I see an opportunity. So, for example, Lewis Richards showed us an app during his lab session called Architecture of Radio, which is a brilliant data visualisation of open datasets of cell tower, Wi-Fi and satellite locations, but what I've started doing is using it as a great opener for a conversation about technology at business meetings by running the app while waiting for the meeting to start or during a break. It works every time – thanks, Lewis."
James Findlay, HS2 CIO


"We have designed an IT that is for transformation by ensuring IT is always about flexible working, customer transformation, BI and open data, and joined-up data for cross-agency working.

"We have also amplified the data effect with the open data platform as we have connected that to our citizen accounts online. We can now pump information on planning to a citizen if they subscribe to proximity alerts."
John Jackson, Camden Borough Council CIO