Greater Manchester aims to be one of the top five European digital city-regions, recognised globally for its digital innovation. Data – including how it is collected, used, shared and valued – forms a key part of that ambition. Research shows that the leading digital city-regions appreciate the value of their local data, using data to inform and improve public services, and releasing data for wider re-use.
Greater Manchester’s Local Industrial Strategy (LIS), released in June 2019, supports these ambitions, with an aim to create an economy fit for the future. The importance of better quality, more value-rich data is central to this ambition.
With these ideas in mind, the LIS proposed the creation of a Local Data Review (LDR) to identify and address the barriers to opening up local public sector data for re-use.
There are three workstreams in the LDR:
- Analysis – identifying some of the main challenges the public sector faces when opening up data for re-use;
- Consultation – identifying some of the main challenges external organisations face in accessing and using public sector data;
- Review – identifying deliverables, and actions to create these deliverables, to open more public sector data.
The main output of the analysis workstream is a report on open data approaches and practices. This report summarises the findings of a series of 25 open data case studies, an open data workshop held in September 2020, and wider background research. The focus of this report is on the internal challenges faced within the public sector when opening data for re-use, alongside possible solutions to overcome these challenges.
A number of case studies were developed for the analysis workstream. These case studies looked at existing programmes, projects and organisations that contributed to opening data for wider re-use. The case studies are not extensive, but are focused on examples of challenges and mitigations for opening public sector data, and examples where lessons can be learned for Greater Manchester and beyond.
The case studies below have been compiled through a mixture of desk-based research, literature review, and - in some instances - short interviews with relevant parties. The findings from the reports are from GMCA, and do not represent the views or opinions of the respective organisations.