Open data offers an array of opportunities for CIOs from both the public and private sectors to unearth information provided by governments and businesses.
IT business leaders from a range of sectors told
CIO UK how they're using open data to stimulate innovation.
Read next: Best ways CIOs can introduce open data into their organisations
March 14, 2018
1. Charles Ewen - Met Office
International collaboration and the exchange of data is crucial to weather forecasting services such as the UK's Met Office.
"For 70 or 80 years now, there's been a formal interchange of open data between about 200 agencies that do weather across the world so that all of us can build a picture of the current state of the global atmosphere," says Met Office CIO Charles Ewen.
"This has been going on for a long time across geopolitical boundaries. It's all orchestrated by the United Nations, through an organisation called the World Meteorological Organisation. They lay out how that interoperability works."
The Met Office exchanges its state of the atmosphere reports with all of the other WMO member nations. It then analyses the data through its Cray XC40 supercomputer to understand the future state of the atmosphere.
Read next: Met Office CIO Charles Ewen on how supercomputers forecast the weather
2. Lauren Sager Weinstein - TfL
TfL is renowned for championing open data, which it has released for developers to use in their own software and services since 2007, and through its Unified API since 2015.
Deloitte estimates that it generates annual economic benefits and savings of up to £130m a year across a vast range of uses, from cutting time off passenger journeys to reducing accidents on the road by identifying risks.
For example, the popular navigation app Citymapper was built thanks to the openness of TfL data.
"It's open to anybody to subscribe, and that allows our reach to be even greater," explains TfL CDO Lauren Sager Weinstein. "It also of course helps the developer community because it gives them a great feed of data to use." Read next: TfL Chief Data Officer Lauren Sager Weinstein explains how data keeps London moving
3. Dylan Roberts - Leeds City Council
CIO 100 high-flyer Dylan Roberts has harnessed open data to develop sustainable public service solutions in collaboration with the local tech sector in Leeds.
Among them is "bus clock", an analogue centres clock face showing real-time bus arrival times from open data sources that has been installed in locations including community surgeries to and GP increase the number of elderly residents using buses and reduce the number of missed medical appointments.
Another is an
open data platform called Data Mill North, which brings together information from multiple sectors that citizens can use to understand and access local services.
"It holds hundreds of data sets updated by many organisations," says the Leeds City Council Chief Digital and Information Officer.
"Public, private and third parties have developed numerous innovations using this platform, which reduces the reliance on our diminishing public services – eg transport applications, bin collection and energy usage applications, and data analytics. This platform has also reduced the number of FOI requests submitted to the council by 7%."